Michael Paliotta
Image: Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon SMI

Michael Paliotta


Westport Connecticut

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









Trade with Chicago Blackhawks, June 2015


198 lbs.

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2008-09: Michael Paliotta played for Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.) of the New England Prep School League. In 24 games he scored 1 goal with 14 assists.

2009-10: Paliotta appeared in 50 games for the US National U17 team and was part of the first place USA squad at the 2010 World U17 Hockey Challenge. He had 2 goals with 12 assists for the NDTP squad and in six games at the Hockey Challenge he had 2 assists for Team USA.

2010-11: Paliotta skated in 60 games for the US National U18 team. He scored 1 goal with 14 assists and had 77 PMs. He was also part of the gold medal-winning USA squad at the 2011 U18 World Junior Championship and was -1 with 1 assist and 2 PMs in six games. Paliotta was ranked 86th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Chicago in the third round (70th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft. 

2011-12: Paliotta had a solid freshman year in what was a disappointing season for the University of Vermont. He skated in 30 of 34 games for the Catamounts, scoring 4 goals with 6 assists, and had 44 penalty minutes. He finished minus-20 on a Vermont team that won just six games and finished last in Hockey East. Paliotta scored two of his four goals on the power play.

2012-13: Paliotta played in 35 of 36 games for Vermont in his sophomore season at Vermont – sharing the team lead for points by a defenseman (10) with Flyers prospect Nick Luukko. Paliotta scored 1 goal with 9 assists and had an even plus/minus with 50 penalty minutes. Vermont finished seventh in Hockey East — reaching the conference tournament and losing to defending national champion Boston College in the quarterfinals.

2013-14: Paliotta had a breakout offensive season in his junior year at Vermont. In 38 games for the Catamounts he scored 5 goals with 22 assists and was plus-6 with 51 penalty minutes. Vermont finished seventh in Hockey East but received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after falling to Massachusetts-Lowell in a three-game quarterfinal series in the conference tournament. The Catamounts were defeated by Union, 5-2, in the East regional semifinals. 

2014-15: Paliotta made his NHL debut with the Chicago Blackhawks on April 11th in a game against Colorado, recording an assist and posting an even plus/minus in 12:45 minutes of ice time in his only NHL game. Signed to a three-year entry-level contract by Chicago on March 26th following his senior season at Vermont, he led the Catamounts in scoring as a defenseman. Paliotta scored 9 goals with 27 assists and was +15 with 40 penalty minutes in 41 games. Vermont finished seventh in Hockey East, advancing to the conference semifinals after winning best-of-three series against Maine and Boston College. The Catamounts lost to Massachusetts-Lowell, 4-1, in the Hockey East semifinals. Paliotta was acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets, along with Brandon Saad and center Alex Broadhurst from the Chicago Blackhawks in an offseason trade in June 2015. 

2015-16: Paliotta skated in a February game with the Blue Jackets, spending most of his first pro season with the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters. He had an even plus/minus with no points and four minutes in 7:32 minutes of ice time in his only game with Columbus. Paliotta was one of four defensemen to top 15 points for Lake Erie as the Monsters were one of the top teams in the Central Division, reaching the AHL playoffs.

Talent Analysis

Paliotta is a physical blueliner with good size and skating ability. Drafted as a shutdown defenseman, he blossomed as an offensive defenseman during his college career. Paliotta played a key role in the resurgence of the University of Vermont hockey program and has continued to provide offense in the AHL. .


Paliotta skated for the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters in 2015-16 in his first pro season — making a cameo appearance with the Blue Jackets in February. A big defenseman who skates well and has some offensive potential, he could challenge for a spot with Columbus in training camp. Long-term he projects as a solid second pair defenseman with some power play potential.

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