While he has been widely recognized in the last several years as being a key member of the Sharks - I'm still not sure Joe Pavelski has received enough credit for his contributions.
|Thanks Mrs. Pavelksi - we really appreciate your son. |
There is no question - right now - we are witnessing #8 entering his prime.
"Little Joe"... "The Big Pavelski"... "Pokey"... the forward has plenty of nicknames, but the more accurate depicters are "productive" and "reliable".
Last season we witnessed Joe's offensive breakout: eclipsing the 40-goal mark for the first time in his career. He ended up with 41. And right now with 9 in the bank, Pavelski is on pace to finish this campaign in the mid 30's. His "worst" season was part of a "sophomore slump" - if you can even call 19 goals and 40 total points "struggling" - back in 2007-08.
But his value extends off the ice too. Inside the dressing room, Pavelski is known as one of the team's great characters. When the chips are down, he is honest, heartfelt, and accountable in his assertions. Certainly this was recognized in his appointment to being an Alternate Captain this season.
However - don't be fooled by the reserved nature and simple appearance - Joe is a chronic jokester. Actually he's a chirping machine, and let me tell you from experience, you can't get much past him. He is aware of basically all things, at all times. It's this kind of personality which all teams need, in order to keep things loose and fresh over the course of a grueling 82 game schedule.
What makes all of this even more impressive: Pavelski was a complete steal in the 2003 entry draft. The Sharks selected him in the 7th round with the 205th overall pick. You'd have to think back then, nobody truly knew what San Jose would be getting less than 10 seasons later at the NHL level.