Ondrej Pavelec was only an average player in 2004-05 even though his former coach in Kladno Jaromir Sindel knew that he is a great goalie. Pavelec was given an offer to go to the Sparta junior team which Sindel started to coach in 2004-05 season. But then Sparta acquired Slovakian goalkeeper Michal Valent and Pavelec feared he wouldn't get as many chances and decided to stay in Kladno. His decision proved to be very wise. Pavelec moved from average not very well known goalie to one of the best among world's 87 born. He was first invited to play on the national team a year ago. He never went to any major tournament until 2004 Junior World Cup in August taking place in Czech Republic and Slovakia. He was a starting goalie for the Czech team and did really well. The Czechs finished second after losing to Canada in the final. Pavelec showed himself in a good light there but after a game against Russia began a fight between the players and one of the Russian players came to Pavelec, crosschecked him and he hit the ice with his head, suffering a mild concussion.
During the season Pavelec played great for the Kladno juniors and he kept the same standard while playing on the U-18 national team. At the U-18 WJC Pavelec was the key player for the Czech team. Once again he performed really well and also thanks to him the Czechs finished fourth.
2005-06: A rookie coming over from the Czech junior league, Ondrej Pavelec was stellar in the QMJHL. He led the league with a .929 save percentage and his 2.51 GAA was second overall during the regular season, first among regulars. The next highest save percentage was a distant .914. He had a 27-18 record for the Screaming Eagles, and his 27 wins led all rookies.
2006-07: Pavelec began the 2006-07 season with some extra weight on him, but he trimmed down by December and improved his play. He was the starting goaltender for the Czech team in the WJC, but he didn't fare well, a demonstration of his inconsistency.
But the QMJHL season is long, and in the end the cream rises to the top. In 43 games , Pavelec posted a 28-11 record, .908 save percentage and 2.52 goals against average. He won the Jacques Plante Trophy for the top goaltender in the QMJHL, measured by GAA, for the second straight year. He was third among goaltenders in save percentage.
Pavelec has a good size, which helps him to cover a good amount of the net. He possesses decent skating skills and adequate lateral movement. He plays a quality butterfly style, displays strong athleticism and flexibility. As for the mental side he is calm and also has solid focus and mental toughness. Pavelec shows above-average reading of plays and anticipation; he challenges the shooter well. He has solid reflexes and quickness and is tough to beat on initial shots. Pavelec orientates in traffic well, handles rebounds and plays the angles adequately well.
On the downside, Pavelec needs to keep his conditioning in check and remain consistent. He allows a good number of goals through his five-hole and needs to play better in position when making the saves. He could still improve his glove hand and often he seems to have trouble on high shots. His stickhandling ability is rather average and some of his moves can lead to risky plays. He also tends to play too deep in the net, thus being more vulnerable to shots than dekes.