MONTREAL – In a few weeks, Greg Pateryn will find himself being handed two pieces of paper – both of which could change his life.
A member of the Canadiens family for almost four years now, Greg Pateryn took a step closer to one day donning the bleu-blanc-rouge, after recently inking a two-year deal with the Montreal franchise.
“Signing that contract was definitely a big weight off my shoulders. Right now though, it’s still just basically a piece of paper. Until I prove myself a little more, that’s all it’ll be,” pointed out the 6-foot-3, 215-pound defenseman.
A quick look at Pateryn’s statistics over the course of his latest season with the Wolverines would suggest that the Habs prospect is well on his way to doing just that.
“I’m pretty proud of the numbers I was able to put up this year,” continued Michigan’s leading shot blocker, who in 2011-12 also logged 15 points and posted a plus-15 differential. “I wasn’t expecting to chip in too many points, but I think I still managed to find different ways to create sparks for the team when we needed it the most.”
Acquired from the Maple Leafs along with a second-round draft pick in 2010 in exchange for forward Mikhail Grabovski, Pateryn has spent his entire career to date as a member of the University of Michigan Wolverines. On the Habs’ current roster, both Max Pacioretty and Aaron Palushaj also share the same alma mater.
Resolutely determined to finish his studies, fans anxious to see Pateryn take the next step and suit up in Hamilton Bulldogs jersey will have to wait a little bit longer.
“I tried to convince my professors to reschedule some of my exams or to grant me special permission, but with only a few weeks left in the semester, they weren’t too keen on the idea,” shared the Sterling Heights, MI native. “When you’re playing for a university, you’re a student-athlete. Being a student comes first. Hockey is obviously extremely important to me as well, but having been here for the past four years, it’s important for me to finish this and get my diploma.”
While he may not have had the chance to walk away with an NCAA championship during his time at Michigan, he’ll always have his degree in kinesiology to show off as a measure of his success.
“Hockey is definitely going to be my priority in the near future. If I can go on to have a long career as a hockey player, all the better, but if that doesn’t work out, it’s important to also have my education going for me,” added Pateryn, who appropriately was handed the nickname, “Doc” by his teammates.
Luckily, his field of study looks like it could come in handy for him over the course of the next couple of years.
“I took a class in biomechanics. It focused principally on the implied physics of body movement and how muscles are used. Almost everything from the world of hockey can be applied to that course; from speed, to changing direction on the ice, etc… It was very cool,” finished Pateryn, who’s scheduled to wrap up his exams by the end of April before turning his attention to the Canadiens’ next development camp, scheduled for June.
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane. SEE ALSO
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