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Behind The Bench: Max Pacioretty

by on 08/16/2011

Vitals

Born:  New Canaan, CT, USA
Birth date:  November 11, 1988
Height:  6’2” (188 cm)
Weight: 212 lbs (96 kg)
Position:  Left Wing
Shoots:  Left
NHL Draft: 22nd overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 2007
NHL Team: Montreal Canadiens
Jersey No.:  #67
National Team: United States
NHL Contract: 12/13
Cap Hit: $1,625,000

History

2005-06: Pacioretty played for his Varsity Hockey team in high school at Taft School. He played in 25 games and recorded 36 points (6 goals and 30 assists).

2006-07: Pacioretty played his first and only season in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers. Pacioretty recorded 63 points (21 goals and 42 assists) in 60 games while racking up a total of 119 penalty minutes. He finished the year as the league’s top rookie and was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team.

2007-08: Pacioretty joined the University of Michigan of the CCHA for the season. He recorded 39 points (15 goals and 24 assists) in 37 games. Pacioretty helped Michigan win the CCHA Championship and was named the CCHA Rookie of the year and was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team. Pacioretty also joined Team USA at the WJC but failed to register a point in 6 games.

2008-09: Pacioretty signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens, foregoing his remaining eligibility at the University of Michigan. He started the season with the Canadiens’ AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs but was called up to join the team after a successful first half. Pacioretty played in 37 games with the Bulldogs and recorded 29 points (6 goals and 23 assists) and 43 penalty minutes. In 34 games with the Canadiens, Pacioretty recorded 11 points (3 goals and 8 assists) in 34 games.

2009-10: Pacioretty started with the Canadiens but after a disappointing first half, he was sent down to Hamilton. He recorded 14 points (3 goals and 11 assists) in 52 games before he was sent down. While with Hamilton Pacioretty recorded 11 points (3 goals and 9 assists) in 18 games and played in 5 AHL Playoff games but only recorded 1 goal.

2010-11: Pacioretty start the season with the Canadiens and played well during the first quarter of the season. He recorded 24 points (14 goals and 10 assists) in 34 games. Pacioretty had his season come to an early end after he suffered a fractured 4th cervical vertebra and a severe concussion that was a result of a hit from Zdeno Chara into the stanchion at the end of the bench. Pacioretty played his first 60-minute game since the hit during a charity hockey game on July 14, 2011, almost 5 months after the incident.

Talent Analysis

Pacioretty is a good power forward with an above average skill set. He displays excellent skating ability and has quick feet. He handles the puck and protects it very well. He also has a very good shot with a quick release. Pacioretty has everything it takes to be a force on the ice; size, tenacity and skill. He is a great net front presence and is not afraid to go into the dirty areas. He’s one of those heart and soul-type player that every team loves to have, the ones willing to get into shooting lanes to block shots or lay out a big hit or carry the team on their backs. He can be relied on in a checking role but has the goal scoring upside to be a dependable secondary scorer.

Pacioretty lacks elite on-ice vision and a high-level hockey sense to carry a line but he is a great complimentary winger one any line. He fits well with Montreal’s smaller forwards as he can help create time and space for the more skilled, diminutive players.

Pacioretty currently lacks the consistency to become a quality NHL player but has a lot of raw potential to make up for his lapses. It would have been nice if he tempered his raw potential with a few years in college or at the AHL-level.

Future

Patch has the size, skill and tenacity to become a perennial 20-goal scorer in the league. If he continues to work on his fundamentals to hone some of his raw potential and gain some consistency, Pacioretty could become a decent first-line winger who can score 25+ goals and 60+ points in a season.

NHL Highlights

  • 1st NHL Game – January 2, 2009 vs. New Jersey Devils
  • 1st NHL Point – January 2, 2009 vs. New Jersey Devils
  • 1st NHL Goal – January 2, 2009 vs. New Jersey Devils (Even-Strength goal)
  • 1st NHL Assist – January 7, 2009 vs. New York Rangers (Assist on Alexei Kovalev goal)

Career Highlights

  • 2006-07 USHL Rookie of the Year
  • 2006-07 USHL All-Rookie Team (Forward)
  • 2006-07 USHL West Prospects/All-Star (Forward)
  • 2007-08 CCHA Rookie of the Year
  • 2007-08 CCHA All-Rookie Team (Forward)
  • 2007-08 CCHA Championship Winner

Career Stats

NHL Regular Season: 123 GP, 20 G, 29 A, 49 Pts
AHL Regular Season:
82 GP, 25 G, 47 A, 72 Pts
AHL Playoffs:
5 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 1 Pt
CCHA:
37 GP, 15 G, 24 A, 39 Pts
WJC:
6 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 Pts
USHL Regular Season:
60 GP, 21 G, 42 A, 63 Pts
USHL Playoffs:
7 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 10 Pts
HS:
25 GP, 6 G, 30 A, 36 Pts

Behind The Bench appears Monday to Friday only on puckpuckgoose.com.

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