Getting to know: Danick Paquette
Described by Bruce Boudreau, then of the NHL's Washington Capitals, now of Minnesota Wild as "one of those guys that everybody loves to hate," the latest signing for the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze, Danick Paquette is likely to set tongues wagging during the upcoming Elite League season.
The 26-year-old forward has been described in many ways over his career, an "agitator", a "villain", and a "pest". And these are just the polite things.
"It’s the way he’s gotta play to be effective, getting under people’s skin", continued Boudreau who traded Eric Fehr for Paquette in 2011.
"I think there’s a lot of guys that hate him – probably every game. It’s a tough way to make a living but that’s what you’ve got to do if you want to play. He’s noticeable – every game he’s noticeable."
Drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2008, before his rights were moved to Washington, from an early age Paquette proved that he was far more than just a physical force, contributing regularly where it matters most - on the scoreboard.
Registering 175 points in 251 QMJHL games, the Canadian has since managed to translate his junior success to the pro-game, posting over half-a-point per game on average during his 341 ECHL regular season and playoff matches.
With over 70 fighting majors and 1,329 penalty minutes to his name too, the hard-hitting winger has compared himself to Chris Neil of the Ottawa Senators.
".... but I score more goals than him," said Paquette of the comparison with the NHLer. "He can hit somebody, he can score, he’s dangerous in front of the net. He’s a good example for someone like me.”
Mark French, former Head Coach of Hershey Bears, now of Fribourg-Gottéron, continues in the assessment, “He's a guy who comes out at you in the games when you watch him play. He's an agitating-type player that certainly the opposing team knows that he's playing against them.”
A Fan Favourite award winner at both Utah Grizzlies and Manchester Monarch's, Paquette's fight card includes some of the toughest names in the game, not least Blaze forward of last season Garrett Klotz.
At 26-years-of-age, Danick moves to Europe for the first time following a season of 28 points in 46 games for the Tulsa Oilers.
If the words of Boudreau, French and the man himself are anything to go by, he's sure to be a big hit at the Skydome Arena.
See Danick Paquette in action for the Genting Casino Coventry Blaze late August as pre-season gets underway.
Season tickets for the 2017/18 Elite League season are available now!