(ISN) – Portland Winterhawks defenseman Derrick Pouliot was selected eighth overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft Friday.

Pouliot set career-highs with 11 goals and 48 assists for 59 points in 72 games last season, as he finished fourth in league scoring among all defensemen. Pouliot added three goals and 14 assists for 17 points in 22 playoff games, tying for the league lead in playoff scoring among defensemen with teammate Joe Morrow, who was a first round draft pick (23rd overall) of the Penguins last year.

The Penguins acquired the eighth pick in the draft in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes.

“The Winterhawks are very excited for Derrick and his family. Derrick possesses terrific skill along with an outstanding work ethic, and it’s that combination that has made him a first round NHL pick,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “The Penguins are not only getting a terrific player, but an outstanding young man as well.”

Pouliot is the fifth Winterhawk taken in the first round in the last three years, following Sven Bartschi (Calgary) and Morrow (Pittsburgh) last year, and Ryan Johansen (Columbus) and Nino Niederreiter (New York islanders) in 2010. He also becomes the 26th first round pick in team history. It marks the first time the team has had players taken in the first round in three straight years since 1978-1983, when the Winterhawks had first round picks in six consecutive years.

The Winterhawks drafted Pouliot first overall in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.

Season tickets and 20- and 12-game ticket packages for the 2012-13 season are on sale now. Visit winterhawks.com or call 503-236-HAWK to reserve the best seat locations.