The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that they have re-signed restricted free agent center Cedric Paquette to a one-year, one-way contract. The contract will pay him $1 million. Paquette was a 4th round draft pick of the Lightning in 2012 from the Blaineville-Boisbriand Armada. Paquette has played 236 games in the NHL over five seasons and has 50 points in his career. He’s also played in 62 playoff games.
Paquette is coming off of a two-year contract with a $812,500 cap hit. This contract represents a small bump in pay for the fourth line center. While his point production has dropped off, and injuries have been an issue for the hard playing grinder, Paquette is a useful piece to have on the team. He plays with energy and isn’t afraid to scrap when necessary. He plays hard and isn’t afraid to get in front of pucks at even strength and on the penalty kill. That shot blocking has also been part of his injury concerns.
With just a one-year contract, Paquette will have an opportunity to step up this year and get his production back to where it was in his rookie season of 2014-15 when he had 12 goals and 19 points in 64 games. The past three seasons he has averaged 56 games played and 10 points.
The pressure is on for Paquette to continue earning his place on the roster. There are a number of forward prospects that are gunning for a spot on the roster over the next season or two. Mitchell Stephens is the most likely direct replacement for Paquette, but Alex Volkov and Mathieu Joseph are already on the verge of finding their way onto the roster. Professional rookies Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, and Ross Colton may not be too far behind them either.