Aaron Palushaj
Image: NHL

Aaron Palushaj

Hometown:

Northville Michigan

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1989-09-07

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2007

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2007

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

Waiver claim, 2013

Weight:

185 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2006-07: Aaron Palushaj spent the season with the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL), where he tallied 22 goals and 67 points in 56 games. He added another 11 points (6g+5a) in eight playoff games. 

2007-08: This was Palushaj’s rookie season with the Michigan Blue (CCHA). In 43 games he scored 10 goals, 34 assists (led league and team/second in the Nation) and 44 points (third in the nation among rookies). He was a CCHA All-Rookie team honorable mention. He also helped Michigan take the CCHA title.

2008-09: The winger spent the majority of his season with the University of Michigan (CCHA), netting 13 goals, 37 assists (led league/third in Nation) and 50 points (second in CCHA), all of which are career-highs. He was nominated to the West All-American team and the All-CCHA squad. He also competed with the US National U20 squad, where he scored two goals and five points.

2009-10: Aaron split his time in the minors between Peoria and Hamilton, appearing in 62 games total with 32 points. Palushaj was traded from the St. Louis Blues to Montreal.

2010-11: Palushaj made his NHL debut – appearing in three games in March with the Canadiens – and was AHL Hamilton's leading scorer in his first full season with the Montreal organization. Palushaj was scoreless and +1 with 2 PMs in limited ice time (8:31 per game) with the Canadiens. In 68 AHL games with Hamilton he scored 22 goals with 35 assists and was +22 for the North Division champion Bulldogs. Palushaj appeared in 19 of 20 playoff games as the Bulldogs reached the AHL semifinals. Palushaj scored 7 goals with 12 assists and was Hamilton's second leading scorer behind one-time New York Ranger Nigel Dawes who led the Bulldogs with 22 points.

2011-12: Palushaj spent more time in the NHL this season but only had one goal along with four assists in 38 NHL games which is surprising from the offensively talented winger. It was a well-travelled season of call-ups to Montreal and re-assignments back to Hamilton for Palushaj which has caused his offensive numbers to drop in the AHL. He managed to be one of the leading point-getter, scoring 15 goals (seven on the power play) along with 20 assists in 35 AHL games for the Bulldogs who were a team that struggled to score goals all year.

 

Talent Analysis

Palushaj boasts well-honed game all around, with a combination of hockey intelligence, speed, and work ethic. He can stickhandle and make smart passes, and isn't afraid to fight for possession of the puck.

 

Future

Palushaj was claimed via waivers by the Colorado Avalanche in February of 2013. He might get a longer look in the NHL with the Avalanche, but he'll need to impress enough to avoid being relegated to the minors once again.

  

Colorado Avalanche minor league system flush with defensive talent and depth forwards

by Blake Benzel
on
Michael Sgarbossa - Colorado Avalanche

Photo: Playing in his rookie pro season, Michael Sgarbossa was leading the Lake Erie Monsters in scoring when he was called up to the NHL club on January 29th. (courtesy of Russell Lansford/Icon SMI)

 
The depth and talent developing at the pro level is an organizational strength for the Colorado Avalanche. Players like Michael Sgarbossa, Mark Olver, and Tyson Barrie got off to strong starts in the AHL and are now making an impact for the Avs in 2013. Meanwhile prospects Stefan Elliott, Brad Malone, and Cameron Gaunce are knocking on the door and are more than ready to step in as injury replacements this season.

Read more»

Montreal Canadiens deep in youth and talent at minor league level

by David Thicke
on

Morgan Ellis - Montreal Canadiens

Photo: Defenseman Morgan Ellis is one of several first-year players for the Hamilton Bulldogs. Ellis was selected 117th overall by the Canadiens in 2010. (Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)

Last season, the Hamilton Bulldogs finished near the bottom of the AHL and failed to make the Calder Cup playoff, a fate similar to their parent club, the Montreal Canadiens. New General Manager, Marc Bergevin decided to bring in a completely new Bulldogs' coaching staff, adding a good mix of NHL and junior experience with head coach Sylvain Lefebvre, assistants Donald Dufresne, Ron Wilson, and goaltending coach Vincent Riendeau.

Read more»

Future appears bright for Montreal Canadiens

by David Thicke
on
Michael Bournival - Montreal Canadiens

Photo: Michael Bournival is one of many Montreal Canadiens prospects to make his professional debut in 2012-13 (Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)

Using the 2012 NHL Draft, the Montreal Canadiens' greatly improved their organizational prospect pool over the past off-season. GM Marc Bergevin has changed the organizational philosophy by adding a bigger management staff, more scouting, and a development team to work with the prospects at all hockey levels and leagues.

Read more»