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Paul Stastny
Paul stastny.png
Born December 27, 1985 (1985-12-27) (age 33)
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
St. Louis Blues
Colorado Avalanche
EHC München
National team Flag of the United States.svg United States
NHL Draft 44th overall, 2005
Colorado Avalanche
Playing career 2006–present

Paul Stastny (born on December 27, 1985) is a Canadian-born American professional ice hockey center, currently playing for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He is the son of Peter Stastny, the younger brother of Yan Stastny and the nephew of Marian and Anton Stastny

Playing CareerEdit

Amateur Playing CareerEdit

Paul began his junior ice hockey career in 2002 with the River City Lancers of the United States Hockey League, playing with the team for two seasons, scoring 107 points in 113 games.

In 2002–03, the Lancers finished the regular season fourth in the West Division and progressed to the playoffs. After advancing two rounds, the Lancers lost in the Clark Cup final against the Lincoln Stars.

In 2003–04, the Lancers finished third in the West Division and lost in the first round of the playoffs against the Sioux City Musketeers. Paul's 77 points in 56 games ranked him second in the league behind teammate Mike Howe.

Paul entered the University of Denver to play for the Pioneers in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2004.

Despite entering college hockey younger than the usual USHL player, Paul scored 45 points in 42 games in his first season in Denver to help the Pioneers win the MacNaughton Cup and Broadmoor Trophy.

He then helped the team win its second NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship in a row by scoring two power-play goals in the final game at the 2005 Frozen Four tournament against North Dakota.

Paul won the award for WCHA Rookie of the Year and was part of the WCHA All-Rookie Team and the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team.

In 2005–06, he scored 53 points in 39 games and finished 7th overall in the NCAA scoring list (tied with Matt Carle for the Pioneers' scoring lead).

Paul scored 44 points in 28 conference games to win the WCHA scoring title. He was part of the WCHA First All-Star Team and the NCAA West Second All-American Team, as the Pioneers finished the WCHA regular season in second place and lost in the first round of the playoffs against the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.

At the end of the season, he left the University of Denver as a business major

Colorado AvalancheEdit

Paul was draft-eligible in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, but opted out of the draft. Prior to the draft, the NHL Central Scouting Bureau ranked him as the 49th best North-American skater available.

Ranked by CSB as the 74th best in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, he was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the second round, 44th overall.

Before moving to Denver in 1996, the Avalanche were the Quebec Nordiques, the team for which his father played from 1980–1990 and had his jersey number retired. Paul signed a multi-year contract with the Avalanche on July 24, 2006, and began his professional career in the 2006–07 NHL season.

Before training camp, it was not expected that Paul would start the season with the Avalanche, but rather for an affiliate team of the Avalanche. However, Steve Konowalchuk's career-ending heart problem opened a roster spot and Paul's play impressed Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville.

Paul started the season with the jersey number 62 until his teammate John-Michael Liles (switching to #4) changed his to let Paul use #26, the same his father wore when he played for the franchise while it was in Quebec.[32] Paul had his first NHL assist on a goal by Wojtek Wolski in his third NHL game, on October 8 against the Vancouver Canucks.

On October 21, in his eighth NHL game and first wearing number 26, Paul scored his first NHL goal in Montreal against David Aebischer of the Montreal Canadiens.

On February 21, 2007, Paul scored two goals and passed Alex Tanguay's total of 51 points to set a new Avalanche record for points by a rookie. His father holds the franchise record with 109.

Between February 3 and March 17, he had a 20-game scoring streak, breaking not only his father's franchise rookie record of 16 games, but also the NHL rookie record of 17 games that belonged to Teemu Selanne.

Paul scored 11 goals and had 18 assists during that period and became the third-youngest player in NHL history to record a 20-game scoring streak, following Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.

At the start of the season, Wojtek Wolski was the Avalanche player seen as favorite to contend for the Calder Memorial Trophy; however, the scoring streak put Paul into contention as well.

Paul's play was one of the reasons the Avalanche experienced their best run of the season towards the end, winning 15 of their last 19 games but missing the playoffs by one point.

Paul ended his rookie season with 78 points, finished second to Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin in the voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy and was named to the 2006–07 NHL All-Rookie Team.

Coming into his sophomore season, Paul admitted the pressure would increase during the year. He continued the strong finish of his rookie year by scoring his first career hat-trick against Marty Turco of the Dallas Stars in the season's first game and scoring five points for the first time four days later, against the San Jose Sharks.

Paul scored 15 goals and had 28 assists in his first 34 games of the season, and had his 100th NHL point in his 99th NHL game.

At the same time, Paul hit a slump, during which he had one point in eight games.

With the Avalanche having lost top players Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth to injuries, Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News pointed to Paul's inconsistency and wrote it was time for Paul to step up and be a leader in all aspects.

Despite being on the longest scoreless streak of his career (which lasted 10 games) on January 11, 2008, the NHL announced Paul would play at the 56th National Hockey League All-Star Game.

Paul scored two goals and three assists in three games before the Colorado Avalanche announced six days later that he would miss approximately 2–3 weeks, including his first All-Star Game to have his appendix removed.

After recovering from the surgery and returning to skating, he suffered a groin injury during a practice, delaying his return.

Paul ended up missing 15 games, but he scored a goal on his comeback against the Phoenix Coyotes on February 22. He scored seven goals and had 15 assists until the end of the regular season, missing a game due to flu on March 20.

With 71 points scored, he finished the regular season as the team's scoring leader and the Avalanche finished 6th in the West, progressing to the playoffs to play against the Minnesota Wild.

He failed to score a point until the fifth game, when his game-winning goal gave the Avalanche the lead in the series.[56] Colorado ended the series by winning the sixth game and progressed to meet the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Paul scored a goal and an assist in the first game of the series, but a depleted Avalanche team was swept in four games. He missed the last game of the series after he injured his knee during the first period of the third game.

On November 17, 2008, Paul signed a US$33-million, five-year contract extension with the Avalanche. The contract began in the 2009–10 season and runs through 2013–14; he will be paid an average of $6.6 million a year. Paul earned $710,000 during the 2008–09 season.

In a December 23, 2008 game against the Phoenix Coyotes, Paul suffered a fractured forearm after being struck by a shot from Phoenix's Olli Jokinen in the last regulation minute of the game.

Paul successfully underwent surgery on his arm and missed 24 games, but also his chance to play in the 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal. This was the second consecutive season that he missed such an opportunity.

He was injured again later in the season when he broke his foot while blocking a shot during a March 17, 2009 game against the Minnesota Wild, putting him out of play for the rest of the season. He scored 36 points in just 45 games that year.

The 2009–10 season proved successful for Paul and the Avalanche. He stayed uninjured the entire season, and only missed one game as a healthy scratch after the Avalanche clinched a playoff spot the previous evening. His 79 points (20 goals, 59 assists) was a career best, and he led the team in points and assists.

Tied with Alexander Ovechkin, only five players in the league ended up with more assists. Paul's second career appearance in the post season ended after the San Jose Sharks eliminated the Avs in the first round.

On January 26, 2011, Paul was named to his 2nd NHL All-Star Game. He and his father became the 8th father-son duo in NHL history to both play in an All-Star Game.

With the delay of the 2012–13 season due to the NHL lockout, Paul followed his brother's footsteps to Germany and signed his first European contract with EHC München of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga on November 15, 2012.

Paul appeared in 13 games for Red Bull climbing to third among the team with 18 points before returning to the Avalanche upon the tentative lockout resolution on January 6, 2013.

St. Louis BluesEdit

Unable to agree to a new contract with the Avalanche as a free agent, Paul signed a four-year $28 million contract with hometown club and Avalanche rivals, the St. Louis Blues, on July 1, 2014.

Skating in 74 games in his first season with the Blues, Paul scored 16 goals to go with 30 assists.

Career StatisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2002–03 River City Lancers USHL 57 10 20 30 39 8 0 1 1 2
2003–04 River City Lancers USHL 56 30 47 77 46 3 1 2 3 0
2004–05 Denver Pioneers WCHA 42 17 28 45 30
2005–06 Denver Pioneers WCHA 39 19 34 53 79
2006–07 Colorado Avalanche NHL 82 28 50 78 42
2007–08 Colorado Avalanche NHL 66 24 47 71 24 9 2 1 3 6
2008–09 Colorado Avalanche NHL 45 11 25 36 22
2009–10 Colorado Avalanche NHL 81 20 59 79 50 6 1 4 5 4
2010–11 Colorado Avalanche NHL 74 22 35 57 56
2011–12 Colorado Avalanche NHL 79 21 32 53 34
2012–13 EHC München DEL 13 7 11 18 20
2012–13 Colorado Avalanche NHL 40 9 15 24 14
2013–14 Colorado Avalanche NHL 71 25 35 60 22 7 5 5 10 4
2014–15 St. Louis Blues NHL 74 16 30 46 40 6 1 0 1 4
NHL totals 612 176 328 504 304 28 9 10 19 18

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2007 United States WC 5th 74482
2010 United States OG Template:Sica 61230
2012 United States WC 7th 83690
2013 United States WC Template:Brca 1078156
2014 United States OG 4th 6 2 0 2 0
Senior totals 371720378

International PlayEdit

Medal record
Competitor for Flag of the United States.svg United States
Men's ice hockey
Olympic Games
Silver 2010 Vancouver

Template:Medal Template:Medal

Although born in Canada, Paul is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States. Both he and his brother Yan have chosen to play internationally for the United States.

Among the reasons that led him to choose to play for the United States was the possibility to play in an international competition with his brother, who had chosen to play for the United States before Paul.

He represented the U.S. for the first time in the 2004 Viking Cup, where he won a silver medal playing for the junior team. According to Hockey's Future, he was one of the most important American talents in the tournament.

Paul played internationally for the United States national ice hockey team for the first time in the 2007 IIHF World Championship.

He played seven games, scored four goals and four assists, had two penalty minutes and finished even in plus/minus. The United States lost in the quarterfinals against Finland.

Paul was named the best American player in the 3–0 win against Germany when he scored two goals and had one assist. He was chosen as one of the three best United States players at the tournament, together with Lee Stempniak and Toby Petersen.

Paul was selected to play for the U.S. men's ice hockey team in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver where he won a silver medal. He scored a goal and two assists over six games.

Upon completion of a disappointing 2012–13 season with the Avalanche, Paul accepted an invite the 2013 World Championship event in Finland/Sweden and was selected as Team U.S. Captain.

He led the largely unheralded U.S. team, in claiming their country's first medal at the Championships since 2004, with shootout victory over Finland for Bronze on May 19, 2013.

Paul finished the tournament in second place in individual scoring with 15 points in 10 games, resulting in selection to the World Championship All-Star Team.

Playing StyleEdit

Paul is a left-handed center and was one of the few NHL players known to use a wood stick since 2005, preferring it through his first four seasons in the NHL. However, he made the switch to a graphite stick to begin his 2010–11 NHL season.

He considers himself a playmaker, a characteristic he says he inherited from his father.

Former Avalanche captain Joe Sakic (who played with Paul and Peter Stastny) sees similarities between the two, namely their strong skating and ability to see the game.

Former Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville (who faced Peter during his playing career) has said Paul plays in a similar way and complimented his hockey sense.

George Gwozdecky, Paul's coach at the University of Denver, has complimented his intelligence, ability to pass and see the ice. Although it has been said that Paul is a slow skater, Gwozdecky also feels he is a strong skater.

Terry Frei of ESPN has said that "... his game isn't flashy and eye-popping as much as it is heady, intuitive and efficient".

AccoladesEdit

Award Year
College
WCHA All-Rookie Team 2005
WCHA Rookie of the Year 2005
All-NCAA All-Tournament Team 2005
NCAA Championship 2005
WCHA First All-Star Team 2005–06
AHCA West Second-Team All-American 2005–06
NHL
All-Rookie Team 2007
All-Star Game 2008*, 2011

Personal LifeEdit

Born in Canada to a mother with American citizenship, Paul (along with brother Yan) have dual Canadian/U.S. citizenship.He also has two sisters named Katarina and Kristina.

Paul has mentioned "religion, education and the importance of family" as important values in his upbringing and has spoken about his father's help in making him a better player.

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