St. Cloud, MN – For the second consecutive year, the SCSU Huskies have had a player selected in the first-round of the NHL Entry Draft. On Friday, June 23, the Montreal Canadiens chose Poehling as the 25th pick in the first-round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. In the process, Poehlng, who at age 17 was the youngest player in Division I college hockey during the 2016-17 season, became the second highest drafted player in SCSU history behind Dennis Cholowski who was drafted 20th by the Detroit Red Wings in 2016. It also placed Poehling as the highest drafted forward ever surpassing Matt Cullen who was the 35th pick in the second round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Anahem Ducks.
Poehling, a left-handed shooting center from Lakeville, MN decided to forgo his senior year at Lakeville North High School to join twin brothers Jack and Nick Poehling at St. Cloud State University for the 2016-17 season. He competed quite well against older and more experienced players compiling 7 goals and 6 assists for 13 points and 12 PIM in 35 games. He also found success during the 2016 -17 season on the international stage with 4-2-6 in 4 games for Team USA in the Hlinka Memorial Tournament and 3-2-5 in 7 games for the Team USA U18 in the World Championships.
Upon his selection, Canadien’s General Manager Marc Bergevin said “You’re projecting down the road but, in my view, the appealing thing is that he’s playing the right way. “He doesn’t cheat the game. It’s good to score a goal, but if you give up two, you’re down a goal. You need to score, but our scouts sold me on how he played. “He’s coming from high school hockey and he’s playing with grown men,” Bergevin said. “He ran up numbers in high school, but in college he started slowly and then picked up in the second half and our scouts feel he has an upside offensively.”
Poehling, on the other hand commented “For sure, I’m a 200-foot player,” Poehling said. “I play defence as hard as I play offence and I think that’s why they respect me. I stay true to the game and when you do that, the game stays true to you. That’s a big part of myself. When the offence isn’t clicking that night, you got defence to rely on. I got better, I played high school hockey the year before and you get away with everything defensively but, when I went to the next level, I had to work on so much defensively. I became a completely different player. I don’t know what to feel,” he said. “I was excited leading up to the draft and when I got drafted, I couldn’t get the smile off my face. Two days ago, we met at a hotel and we really talked and I met their GM and the relationship really began there,” Poehling said. “When you wear the sweater of a prestige organization like Montreal with players like Shea Weber, Carey Price, Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty, they’ve got great guys.”
Poehling joins former SCSU standout goaltender Charlie Lindgren who signed with Montreal following the 2015-16 season in the Canadien’s organization.
Ryan Poehling interview NHL Draft https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVjJH5G8DXY
Ryan Poehling interview 2 NHL Draft https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvTGfdfKvUk
Video: Draft selection of Ryan Poehling in 2017 NHL Entry Draft https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ilbe-aJOIQ
Elite Hockey Prospects http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=288045