2006-07: Danick Paquette played for Lewiston in the QMJHL, primarily in an energy line role. In 63 games, he scored 4 goals with 14 assists while amassing 112 PIM. Saw limited ice time in 14 playoff games with 18 PIM and -1 plus/minus.
2007-08: While still the primary enforcer for Lewiston in his second season, Paquette began to display his more offensive side. Paquette exploded for 29 goals. Paquette relished his increased role, bringing an energetic game to the ice every night. At the same time, his physical play put him in hot water, sometimes with borderline hits, and he accumulated 213 PIM. Paquette scored 1 goal with 2 assists in five playoff games with 30 PIM. Was especially effective on the power play, where he scored 11 times.
2008-09: Paquette was again a focal point for Lewiston – both in good and bad ways. On the plus side, he scored 25 goals with 25 assists in 61 regular season games and proved dangerous both on the power play (8 goals) as well as the penalty kill (6 shorthanded goals). However, his physical play frequently bordered on dirty, garnering him suspensions and a whopping 230 PIM. This trend came to a head in the QMJHL playoffs, where he scored 1 goal with 2 assists but drew 25 PIM in just two games. Following the QMJHL playoffs, he joined the Thrashers' AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves, playing in four games with no points, 12 PIM and a plus/minus of +2.
2009-10: Paquette attended camp with the Thrashers but was returned to the QMJHL, wherehe had moved from Lewiston to Quebec. Whether it was the move to Quebec or simply maturing with age, Paquette began to strike a balance between aggressive and out of control. While his borderline hits still drew the ire of opposition players and coaches, Paquette sharply reduced his penalty minutes (136) while scoring a career-best 36 goals with 29 assists and a +11 plus/minus in 64 regular season games. Of those goals, 12 came on the man advantage while six were game-winners. In five playoff games for Quebec, he scored 1 goal with 4 assists with 21 PIM. Signed an entry level contract with the Thrashers in May.
2010-11: Paquette led ECHL Gwinnett in penalty minutes (179) as a 20-year-old in his first pro season. In 59 games with the Gladiators he scored 13 goals with 7 assists with a -20 plus/minus. The Washington Capitals acquired Paquette along with a draft pick in exchange for winger Eric Fehr in a trade with WInnipeg in July, 2011.
2011-12: Paquette played for three different ECHL teams in his second pro season – playing 31 games for Capitals affiliate South Carolina to start the year before spending nine games with Utah and finishing the season with the first-year Chicago Express. In 53 games between the three teams he scored 13 goals with 15 assists and was minus-nine with 209 penalty minutes. He enjoyed his best offensive success with the Express – scoring 7 goals with 4 assists in 13 games.
Paquette is a perfect example of a player that teams love to have on their own side, but hate to play against. Perhaps the only thing more agitating than his gritty style of play is the fact he also has the ability to bury the puck and make the opposition pay for their mistakes and indiscretions. A burly forward, Paquette’s game is raw and his discipline is sometimes lacking. He drives the net with fervor, but his skating needs work.
He will have to be more disciplined at the next level, but without neglecting that antagonism which has made him an effective player. Paquette must be more committed to training and working on his fitness level if he is to advance to the next level.