2009-10: Matej Paulovic skated in Slovakia’s U18 league as a 14-year-old – playing for HC Topolcany. He scored 17 goals with 16 assists and was +13 with 26 penalty minutes in 39 games.
2010-11: Paulovic played two games with HC Nitra’s U20 team and was the leading scorer for HC Topolcany’s U18 team. He represented Slovakia at the U17 level in the 2011 World Hockey Challenge and 2011 Europe Youth Olympic Festival tournaments. He was +1 with no points nor penalty minutes for HC Nitra. Paulovic scored 33 goals with 29 assists and was +15 with 34 penalty minutes in 42 games for HC Topolcany U18. Playing for Slovakia, he had no points with 4 penalty minutes at the World Hockey Challenge and had 1 assist in three games at the EYOF.
2011-12: Paulovic joined Swedish club Farjestad, skating for the U20 and U18 teams, and played for Slovakia in the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship Division 1A tournament. He scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was -2 with 6 penalty minutes in 12 games in the U20 SuperElit League. Paulovic scored 17 goals with 23 assists in 33 regular season games for Farjestad’s U18 team and was +34 with 51 penalty minutes. Farjestad avoided relegation to the second division after finishing seventh. Paulovic scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was -2 in six relegation playoff games. In five games for Slovakia’s U18 team he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +4 with 6 penalty minutes. Slovakia swept the WJC D1A tournament to gain elevation to the top group for 2012-13.
2012-13: Paulovic split the season between the Farjestad U20 and U18 teams in his second season in Sweden. He scored 5 goals with 12 assists and was +8 with 6 assists in 34 U20 SuperElit league games. Farjestad finished fourth and reached the playoff semifinals, falling 5-3 to HV 71. Paulovic played in all seven playoff games, scoring 1 goal with 1 assist, and was +1 with 6 penalty minutes. In eight games with Farjestad’s U18 team he scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was +4 with 8 penalty minutes. Not among the 130 European skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, Paulovic was selected by Dallas in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. He was selected by Peterborough in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2013 CHL Import Draft.
2013-14: Paulovic went to training camp with Dallas before joining the Peterborough Petes; skating in 18 OHL games. He scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -4 with 4 penalty minutes; being released from his contract by the Petes in November. Paulovic joined the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL in December. In 29 games he scored 6 goals with 10 assists and was +1 with 39 penalty minutes. Muskegon finished fifth in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Green Bay for the final playoff spot.
Paulovic is a hulking right-handed shot that can play either wing. He shows a fairly strong attention to detail but plays it fairly passive because of a lack of foot speed. He has a compact skating stride but he does not generate as much power as one might expect from a player of his size. His offensive skills are fairly modest but he is producing consistently in his second season with Muskegon. His wrist shot can get in on netminders pretty quickly.
Paulovic is in his first full season in the USHL in 2014-15; skating for Muskegon after joining the Lumberjacks mid-season last year after being released by Peterborough. He will also play for the Slovakia U20 team in the 2015 World Juniors. He has yet to sign an entry-level contract with the Stars and would re-enter the NHL Draft if not signed by June 2015. Paulovic is currently the Lumberjacks' second-leading scorer and has been using his size to his advantage against the smaller, less experienced players in the USHL for Muskegon, which has been one of the league's top teams. Looked at as a bit of a long-term project when he was selected late in the 2013 NHL Draft, he has made progress but whether it's enough to earn an entry-level contract remains to be seen. He will be closely watched at the WJC.