Cedric Paquette has been one of the few pleasant surprises on the Crunch this season. His speed, development and poise has made him one of the top rookies to watch on the team. In his first professional season, he is fourth on the team in scoring with 44 points (20-24) and was one of three players on the roster to have played in all 70 of the Crunch's games played so far this season. His game matured at the pace one believes Tampa expected from all of their rookies this season, and it says a lot about Paquette that he actually achieved that kind of maturity considering all of the roster turnover in Syracuse.
Paquette was ranked at number 20 on Raw Charge's Top 25 Under 25 list. Last season, Paquette played his way into the AHL Calder Cup playoffs, making the roster of an already talent-loaded Syracuse team through his work during practice with the Crunch's Black Aces. The coaching staff was impressed and Paquette saw ice time during the Eastern Conference finals. He played on the fourth line and contributed visible energy and physicality.
Paquette has continued his lack of fear about being physical, but he's gotten smarter about how and where to do it. His compete level is high, and he's one of the few guys that Crunch fans could honestly say showed up every single game and made himself visible this past season. He isn't afraid to hang out in front of the net and definitely embraced the space created by Tampa's ravaging of Syracuse's roster.
Paquette is probably one of first of the Black Aces to be recalled, although he could see playing time in one of the two games left before the Lightning's regular season ends on Sunday.
LIGHTNING RECALL FORWARD CEDRIC PAQUETTE FROM SYRACUSE
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Cedric Paquette from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Paquette will wear number 54.
Paquette, 20, has played in 70 games in his rookie season with the Crunch, posting 20 goals and 44 points to go along with 153 penalty minutes. He leads all Crunch skaters for goals and ranks tied for first on the team with two shorthanded tallies. Paquette ranks fourth in the AHL among rookies for penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 203-pound center has recorded four goals and three assist over his past six games with the Crunch.
The Gaspe, Quebec native skated in 126 career QMJHL games over two seasons with Blainville-Boisbriand, recording 58 goals and 131 points. He recorded career-highs for assists (56) and points (83) during the 2012-13 season.
Paquette was drafted by the Lightning in the fourth round, 101st overall, at the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.