Twenty-two-year-old center Pascal Pelletier has only a handful of games left on his professional tryout contract before he learns whether or not he’ll have a future with the Bruins organization. Pelletier was called up from the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL) in December and is making a case for a more lengthy stay in Providence. He’s made a positive contribution to the lineup, and has so far totaled 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists), 12 penalty minutes and a +4 rating in his 19 games with the baby B’s.
“He’s an energy guy,” described Providence head coach Scott Gordon. “He can score goals, he’s a guy that makes quick plays, versus carrying the puck, and he just provides us with another element offensively that we didn’t have.”
Pelletier played four years in the QMJHL before turning pro for the 2004-05 season. He began his pro career with the Louisiana Ice Gators of the ECHL and totaled 38 points in 61 games before he was traded to the Gwinnett Gladiators at the deadline.
“Last year was my first year pro,” he said. “It didn’t work out like I wanted it to because of the lockout and everything, but in Gwinnett we had a pretty good team, and we had good people there.”
With the NHL locked out, there was an overabundance of talent in the minor leagues, leaving fewer roster spots for up and coming players. Undeterred, Pelletier worked out hard over the summer and earned a tryout with the Lowell Lock Monsters. With two NHL affiliates in Colorado and Carolina, however, Lowell had limited roster space available, and once again, Pelletier would be returned to the ECHL. The young center began the 2005-06 season again with Gwinnett, and when Providence came calling, was tied for the ECHL lead in goals scored with 18, and was second in the league with 30 total points in 21 games.
Now that he’s been given the opportunity to play in the AHL, he intends to find a way to stay there.
“I need to work hard, just work my ass off every game,” he said, grinning. “Score and put some points on the boards, play good defense, finish my checks and just play hard.”
Pelletier was born in Labrador City, Newfoundland, but played hockey in Quebec City and grew up a Montreal Canadiens fan. The now 5’10 197-pounder looked up to Peter Forsberg, but his style of play reminded some of his former teammates of another player.
“When I was in juniors, guys were telling me I looked like Darcy Tucker,” he said, laughing. “I was a creative player, and I could fight in juniors, so people were telling me I was like Darcy Tucker.”
Pelletier said the team has been welcoming to him, and they’ve grown close over his time there. Though the baby B’s are out of the Atlantic division cellar and over .500, they have had their share of hardship. On New Year’s Eve, defenseman Chris Dyment was hit in the face with a bottle while the team exited a Providence restaurant, and sustained injuries that required surgery on his face and left eye. Dyment is recovering and likely won’t return to the lineup anytime soon, but Pelletier spoke highly of how his new teammates have handled the situation.
“The guys are great. Everyone’s pretty close, especially after what happened to Chris Dyment, the team’s spirit just tightened up.”
Pelletier expressed his appreciation for getting the chance to play, and is one player who appears to be making the most of the opportunity.
“The coach has given me a lot of ice time – power play time, five on five time,” said Pelletier. “So far it’s been pretty good.”
Copyright 2006 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.