RELEASE — After claiming the OUA East MVP and Rookie of the Year awards last week, Christopher Paquette (Kingston, Ont.) earned a spot among the best university hockey players in the country at Wednesday night’s U SPORTS All-Canadian Gala in Halifax, the location of the 2020 U Cup Championship. The RMC forward made program history as the first All-Canadian in hockey from the College (Second Team All-Star), in addition to being named a member of the U SPORTS All-Rookie Team.
Drafted in the fifth round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2016, Paquette has lived up to the hype as the first NHL draft pick on the RMC Paladins roster.
“I think he adapted well to the different culture and the level of play,” RMC head coach Richard Lim said. “He took a little while, and was on the perfectionist side, but once he relaxed and realized he could just play his game, shoot the puck, things started to work out really well for him.”
Paquette was the OUA’s nominee for the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year award, but lost out to Mitchell Balmas from Saint Mary’s.
The RMC rookie finished the OUA regular season with 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in 28 games to lead his hometown Paladins in all offensive categories. With the former Peterborough Pete leading the offence, the Paladins made the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Although RMC was eliminated 2-0 in the first round, Paquette notched a pair of goals against the top-ranked Carleton Ravens.
With a year under his belt, expectations are already mounting for what Paquette and the Paladins can accomplish next season.
“We had our year-end meeting and talked about the fact that there’s no stepping backwards, and that there’s still room to grow and to become better,” Lim said. “Only losing three players this year, but losing six to eight next year, 2020-21 is a big year, and I think Chris is ready for it. With him leading the charge, making the playoffs isn’t good enough.”
Release | Photo (Credit: Reuben Polansky): RMC.ca