2009-10: Cedric Paquette skated in 32 of 40 games for the College Notre-Dame Albatros in his second season in the Quebec Midget AAA league. He scored 10 goals with 18 assists and had a team-leading 83 penalty minutes. College Notre-Dame finished 13th in the 15-team league. In eight playoff games Paquette scored 5 goals with 2 assists and had 24 penalty minutes. He was selected by the Montreal Juniors in the sixth round (98th overall) of the 2010 QMJHL Entry Draft.
2010-11: Paquette appeared in four QMJHL games with Montreal and led College Notre-Dame with 28 goals. He had 2 goals and was minus-two with the Juniors. In 34 midget AAA games with the Albatros he had a team-high 102 penalty minutes . He had 27 assists and his 55 points were tied with Alexis Loiseau for tops on the Albatros. College Notre-Dame finished second in Quebec and reached the playoff finals. In 17 playoff games Paquette scored 5 goals with 11 assists and had 36 penalty minutes.
2011-12: Paquette played for the re-named Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in his first full QMJHL season. An 18-year-old rookie, he led the Armada with 31 goals and had 17 assists in 63 games. Quebec finished third in the East Division and reached the second round of the playoffs. In 11 playoff games he scored 7 goals with 10 assists and was plus-six with 22 penalty minutes. Not among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft, Paquette was selected by Tampa Bay in the fourth round (101st overall) in his second year of draft eligibility.
2012-13: Paquette signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Lightning and made his pro hockey debut in May of 2013 — skating in three AHL playoff games with Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse — following his third QMJHL season. Paquette had no points nor penalties and finished with an even plus/minus in his brief AHL stint. The Crunch finished first in the East Division and reached the Calder Cup Finals, falling to champion Grand Rapids. Paquette was the leading scorer for Blainville-Boisbriand and his 103 penalty minutes were one less than team leader Aaron Hoyles. In 63 regular season games he scored 27 goals with a team-high 56 assists and was +29. The Armada finished first in the West Division and reached the playoff semifinals. Paquette scored 7 goals with 5 assists in 15 playoff games and was +3 with 33 penalty minutes.
Passed over in his draft year, Paquette may have been under the radar, but forcefully made an impression on scouts in his second year of eligibility. The hard-nosed approaches the game with a similar relentless nature, where he is a near-unstoppable forechecker who can also hold his own offensively. With soft hands around the net and the ability to create chances with his rough and tumble play down low, Paquette needs to continue to improve his skating and round out his game.