Matej Paulovic

Hometown:

Slovakia

Team:

Dallas Stars

Currently Playing In:

Junior

Birthday:

1995-01-13

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2013

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

5th round (149th overall), 2013

Weight:

176 lbs.

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History

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. 

2014-15: Paulovic returned to Muskegon for his first USHL season, combining with Brown University recruit Tom Marchin and Western Michigan-bound Griffen Molino to form one of the top lines in the league. Paulovic was the Lumberjacks’ second-leading scorer with 17 goals and 33 assists in 51 games and was +16 with 79 penalty minutes. Muskegon, after finishing fourth in the Eastern Division in the regular season, reached the Clark Cup Finals before falling to the Sioux Falls Stampede. Paulovic scored 3 goals with 5 assists and was +1 with 12 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. He played for the Slovakia U20 team at the 2015 World Junior Championship in Canada, finishing -1 with 1 assist in seven games for the surprising bronze medal winners.

Talent Analysis

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.

Future

Paulovic is back in Muskegon skating in the USHL as a 20-year-old. Ineligible to play college hockey after spending time in the OHL and yet to sign an entry-level contract with the Stars, his future is up in the air at this point. The Lumberjacks have struggled following last year's playoff run and are in danger of missing the playoffs and Paulovic missed 11 games with a broken finger. Paulovic's instincts and offensive skill combined with his size make him in intriguing prospect but with a deep group of forward prospects in the Dallas system he may have to look elsewhere if he is to receive an entry-level deal. It is equally likely he begins his professional career at the minor league level or is signed by a club in Europe.

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