The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced that prospect Sam Poulin is taking a leave of absence from the organization due to personal reasons, returning home in the meantime. General manager Ron Hextall released the following:
The Penguins support Sam’s decision to take time away from hockey to focus on himself. As with all of our players, our priority is them as individuals first. We look forward to having him back with the team when he is ready.
Poulin, 21, was the 21st overall selection in 2019 and made his NHL debut this season with the Penguins. In three games, he recorded one assist. His production in the minor leagues has been limited, with just four goals and zero assists in 13 games for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. This is just his second season of professional hockey after starring for the Sherbrooke Phoenix and Val d’Or Foreurs in the QMJHL.
The Penguins have not explained the reasoning behind the leave, and are not expected to do so. It is not clear when he will be able to return to hockey. While the organization supports his decision, it does leave the club with one fewer depth piece to call upon should injuries occur. Hopefully, Poulin will be able to get back on the ice and continue his career as soon as possible.