Cedric Paquette has been a pleasant surprise this season for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Another young player playing better than expected is yet another reason for the strong play this season from Tampa Bay. Cedric Paquette is a very impactful bottom six forward as of late for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the 4th round pick in 2012 has proved this season that he can be an impact player in the National Hockey League. The 21-year-old is currently day-to-day with an upper body injury and in the Lightning’s OT loss to the Nashville Predators he was missed in the lineup. He also missed the Lightning’s game yesterday against the St. Louis Blues, a 6-3 loss. Paquette had previously scored 5 goals and 1 assist in his last 8 games. This was highlighted by his career-game against the Detroit Red Wings on January 29th.
Paquette’s 1st Career Hatty Leads Tampa Bay
Cedric Paquette scored his first career hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings at Amalie Arena on January 29th in a pivotal battle in the Atlantic Division.His first goal was off of his own rebound in front on the backhand to give the Lightning the lead early into the 1st period. His second goal was a thing of beauty at the end of the 1st period as he picked up the puck off the half boards, quickly crossed over to around the faceoff dot, and fired the puck with a wicked wrister that beat Petr Mrazek glove side top shelf. While his first two goals gave the Lightning one goal leads his hat trick goal put the game away. That goal would come shorthanded as Paquette took control of the puck at his own blueline and skated down the ice for a 2-on-1 with Brian Boyle. With the defenseman playing for the pass, Paquette fired the puck at the exact same spot as his second goal and scored yet again on the short side, however this time with a low shot. The hats onto the ice followed his 3rd goal of the game at Amalie Arena for the 21-year-old Paquette as he gave the Lightning a comfortable 4-1 lead.
Paquette has had a lot of different linemates this season and in this game he played with Jonathan Drouin and Alex Killorn.
Cedric Paquette’s Strengths as a Hockey Player
Paquette is a gritty two-way forward with a lot of potential and has surprised many in the Lightning organization this season. He has good size and can play center and wing. Paquette is listed on the Lightning website at 6’1 and 198 pounds. He is not afraid to make an impact with his goal-scoring ability or to set the tone physically. That was evident when he made a huge hit on Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings last week to try to spark his team. Paquette has 11 goals, 6 assists, 17 points, and is a +5 this season in 45 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Hopefully he can get back into the lineup soon and continue to make plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
I am a 2015 graduate of Montclair State University in New Jersey. I have coached ice hockey at the high school level for two seasons here in NJ. I will be covering the Toronto Maple Leafs moving forward for The Hockey Writers.