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10-18-2004, 11:06 PM
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On Paiement:

First of all, he's an 8th rounder (not a 6th rounder) and an overager at that (March 85). It's not unusual at all for 19 year-olds in the Q to suddenly explode offensively. Giroux tripled his production at 19. Lots of Q stars never move on to the next level.

You have to wonder why he lasted so long (besides the age thing). With Petruzalek, we know exactly why he lasted until the 9th (he's a shrimp). No one seems to know with Paiement. And Lewiston was one of the heaviest scouted team in the Q last year with Picard and Bourret, so it's not likely he's a hidden gem no one knew about because he played in Kazakhistan or for the Abitibi Eskimos in Norrthern Ontario Junior A.

I doubt his skating is a problem in that he lumbers around like Rich Pilon, but an offensive defenseman has to have exceptional skating to make it in the NHL. "Skates better than Dale Purinton" just won't cut the mustard. His size is not the issue. Nor is his toughness, apparently (although he takes more obstruction penalties than "tough guy" penalties) I wonder if his hockey sense is the issue.

Frankly, I think he's a likely candidate to be the next Matt Kinch. His stats and situation are eerily similar. Both guys were passed over in their draft eligible year only to explode offensively after that( Kinch went from 31 to 83 pts). And both racked up assists by dishing the puck to some very talented scorers.

Still, congratulations to Jon. While numbers alone do not make the prospect, it's better for a prospect to be scoring than the opposite.

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