"I was scared for a minute. I feel like I just lost my job." A reticent, relieved Patrick Maroon told Hockey’s Future. Maroon was the recent recipient of a plane ticket to Syracuse, New York by way of a November 21st trade between Philadelphia and Anaheim. Maroon was sent to Anaheim along with David Laliberte in exchange for Rob Bordson and former Flyer Danny Syvret.
Prior to the trade, (now former) Adirondack Phantoms (AHL) head coach Greg Gilbert dismissed Maroon from the team despite being one of the team’s most potent offensive threats.
"It was really nerve-racking when three weeks goes by and you don’t have a job," Maroon said. "Once I got that call that says I’ve been traded to the Anaheim Ducks…I’ve never been happier."
Despite that last line, Maroon has no hard feelings for the Philadelphia organization. "Philadelphia is a great organization…I’ll never say anything bad about them."
The 2007 sixth round pick is thankful that the Ducks picked him up and is looking forward to working his way towards an NHL future in Anaheim. "For me, it’s about coming in here to work hard on and off the ice. [I’ll] be a third year guy that comes in here as a role player [at first]."
Way before he joined Syracuse (AHL), he was the focal point of two different junior offenses. In the NAHL, Maroon starred for the Texarkana Bandits (who moved to St. Louis the next season). He made the all-rookie team in 2005-06 and followed it up by leading the league in scoring while capturing the MVP in 2006-07. He continued his sensational play into the postseason, helping the Bandits capture the Robertson Cup Championship.
All set to go out to Ferris State University, the Missouri-native had a sudden change of heart. "I liked Ferris State. They recruited me at a young age and I wanted to get more experience in the United States," Maroon recalls. But after an NAHL playoff game, the OHL‘s London Knights rode in to town set on bringing in Maroon to supply the offense that would surely be lost when Sam Gagner and Patrick Kane moved on with their respective NHL careers.
"I never wanted to go that route but they really wanted me," Maroon said remembering his career-changing decision. "I felt Dale Hunter was going to be the coach that’s going to get me into the next level. I think I made the right decision, he was a great coach. He fought my battles and got me signed."
Maroon took the OHL by storm and led all OHL rookies in assists (55) and points (90), becoming the focal point of the prestigious London Knights’ offense. "It was a pretty big jump. I didn’t think I was going to do as well as I did playing against such highly talented players."
Maroon only spent one season with the Knights but is gracious for his time there and spoke highly of former teammate, now Thrashers prospect, Akim Aliu when asked about the talent level around him. "Aliu has tremendous skill – all the skill in the world…all the potential to be an NHL player."
It was time well spent as Maroon earned a contract with the Flyers. But he has a new challenge ahead of him, securing a second NHL contract with a new organization. For his new fans in Syracuse and Anaheim, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Maroon explains that he’s a "big guy with good hands around the net…very good below the (faceoff) dots."
Maroon, armed with size and skill, is ready to impress his new bosses and continue his professional career.