Monday, August 13, 2007

Paukovich Talks About Signing With Oilers
ECHL Likely Starting Point For Pro Career

From: Rocky Mountain News & Hockey's Future
by Pat Rooney & Guy Flaming


Geoff Paukovich decided to forgo his senior season by signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers. The 6-foot-4 Paukovich, an Englewood native, was a second- round selection (57th overall) of Edmonton in 2004.
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After pondering his choices throughout the summer and consulting with former Pioneers now in the NHL, particularly Avalanche forward and former DU classmate Paul Stastny, Paukovich decided it was time to sign on the dotted line.
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"I took my time with the decision," Paukovich said. "If I went pro, I wanted to make sure I was comfortable with the decision. It is a completely different lifestyle in the pros."
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The Colorado native just completed his junior season with the Pioneers in which he struggled early before finding his form in the second half. Paukovich's size will enable him to handle the physical play as a pro, but with an already full to capacity minor league system it will be interesting to see where he ends up. Clearly the Oilers felt that Paukovich’s college career was not providing the level of development they feel he will receive even if the center ends up in Stockton (ECHL) with the Thunder.
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“I think anytime you can get into that 82-game pro schedule it’s going to be tough,” admitted Paukovich to HF recently. “I’m looking forward to starting my pro career.”
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Paukovich added that he at times felt frustrated in Denver with being stuck in an defensive-first role. After producing well offensively before his college days, the imposing center felt he could contribute to the Pioneers in that fashion but didn’t receive much opportunity in that regard. The former second-round pick plans to come to camp early if he can convince a former Pioneer to put him up.
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“I’ll talk to ‘Fish’ to see if I can stay with him,” he said referring to fellow Oiler prospect Glenn Fisher.
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Thus far Paukovich has only made one appearance in Edmonton, last year during prospect camp. The student was still taking exams when this year’s edition of the camp was scheduled, a frustrating thing for Paukovich.
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“Yeah it was frustrating because I remember from last year how good it was for me in terms of my offseason training,” he said.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I were Geoff..Id be looking forward to trying to crack the roster in springfield...I think that statement was referring to staying with glenn in edmonton before camp

dggoddard said...

I'm sure he wants to make Springfield (AHL) but the article implied that the Oilers minor league operation is full. We all wish Geoff the best and obviously hope he starts in the AHL.

QUOTE FROM ARTICLE:

"Clearly the Oilers felt that Paukovich’s college career was not providing the level of development they feel he will receive even if the center ends up in Stockton (ECHL) with the Thunder."

Anonymous said...

ill go out on a limb...and say pauko starts in springfield...

Goon said...

I would get bored in a defense first type program too, but that is Gwoz type hockey.

dggoddard said...

DU led the WCHA and was #2 in the country in scoring in 2005. You can't play polo if you don't have the horses.

I'd look for DU to be far more explosive this season and the Goals Per Game should be up significantly.