Fifth Round, 148th Overall, C Christopher Paquette

Name: Christopher Paquette
Position: Center
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 174 lbs.
Shoots: Right
Birthdate: 27 MAR 98
Club: Niagra (OHL)

Niagra (OHL), 57 GP, 5-11-16, 18 PIM

Scouting Comments:
"He was on a really strong team this year. Niagara probably gave London their best battle all year long and played them in the OHL finals. Niagara went to win the OHL this year so they loaded up, and if you looked at their lineup it was almost all drafted players – I think they had somewhere between 12-14 NHL-drafted players so [Christopher] got knocked down the roster and played on the fourth line for the most part. We think he’s got an upside like Anthony Cirelli. Anthony started on the fourth line with Oshawa and gradually worked his way up to the second line and then this year was their first line center. Well, next year most of those guys on Niagara are going to graduate and [Christopher] is going to go up the depth chart, so we’re expecting him to be on the first or second line next year and get the chance to show the offensive ability that he wasn’t able to show this year. He was a high pick in the OHL draft, plays a 2-way game, good size, good skater, good attention to detail at all ends of the ice and we think he’s got offensive upside that he hasn’t been able to show yet." -- Lightning Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray

"Paquette was selected in the second round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection by the Niagara Ice Dogs out of the Kingston Jr. Frontenacs Minor Midget program. Paquette played a limited role as a rookie and while he gained more ice in his second season, his numbers stayed nearly identical. Paquette has a very good size and skating combination. For a 6'02" forward, he skates extremely well. He skates a lot of miles but isn't overly engaging. With the puck on his stick he will stay on the perimeter and carry and hold the puck for long stretches of time before making a play. Without the puck he'll cut into the slot with good timing, but usually didn't result in much. He has trouble beating defenders one on one and can get outmuscled too much in key areas for a forward his size. He cycles the puck well when picking up the puck low in the zone. Defensively he's shown average ability to get into passing lanes and take away time and space on the point.

"Paquette could hear his name called at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He has the size and skating that scouts like to see. However, his lack of aggression makes him a questionable choice as a bottom six forward and lack of top six offensive upside really doesn't leave him with much when projecting him as an NHL talent. If he can learn how to play a tougher, more physically imposing style of game, or develop his offensive game he would make a legitimate prospect. At this point we can't rationalize a selection for Paquette outside of the upside of his size/skating combination." -- HockeyProspect.com's Black Book

Strengths:
Great size and skating combination. For a 6'02" forward, he skates extremely well.

Weakneses:
Must improve tendencies for perimeter play and lack of aggression. Offensive game is underdeveloped.

Projection:
Energy liner with size and good skating.

Chad Schnarr contributed to this report.