Pouliot was once one of the NHL’s brightest prospects, selected eighth overall in the 2012 NHL Draft.
He’s yet to establish himself at the game’s highest level however, appearing in just 11 games with the Penguins last season and spending most of his time in the AHL.
“The way he skates and handles the puck and can get up the ice, his game fits the way the game is being played now,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. “The talent and skill that he has as a defenceman is worth taking a gamble on.
“We think he can become a really good player at this level. Sometimes guys just need a change of scenery to kind of get their career going.”
The 23-year-old had seven goals and 23 points in 46 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and he played for Canucks head coach Travis Green when both were with the Portland Winterhawks.
Pedan was a third-round pick of the New York Islanders in 2011, and was traded to the Canucks in 2014.
The 6-foot-5 Lithuanian had five goals, 10 points, and 100 penalty minutes in 52 games with AHL Utica last season.
The Canucks will reassign Patrick Wiercioch to the Utica Comets to make room for Pouliot on their 23-man opening-night roster. Wiercioch must first clear waivers.
— With files from Iain MacIntyre