In December, Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Samuel Poulin announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from the organization for personal reasons. The Penguins expressed their full support for his decision allowing him the needed time.
Today, in an Instagram post, Poulin announced his return:
Three months ago I made a decision to take a break from hockey, and return home to take care of myself and my mental health. After seeing the help I needed, I am now ready to return to Wilkes-Barre and rejoin my team.
I want to thank everyone who helped get me through this difficult time, including my family, my girlfriend, my friends, my medical team, athe entire Pittsburgh Penguins organziation, my teammates, and the fans, who showed unconditional love and support.
I strongly encourage everyone to speak openly about mental health because it affects us all. For those who may be struggling, please know that you are not alone.
The 2019 first-round pick scored four goals in 13 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and made his NHL debut with Pittsburgh before taking his leave. Now 22, he still has another year left on his entry-level contract and has time to live up to the high expectations he brought out of the QMJHL.
Whether he makes it back to the NHL and becomes an impact player remains to be seen, but he and the team chose to prioritize his mental health—a decision no one can fault.
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