Anthony Paskaruk got a big hurdle off his back when he committed to Clarkson University in October, now the 2nd year forward will focus on a strong finish to his AJHL season with the Brooks Bandits.
The 17-year-old from Airdrie, Alta. is in his second season with the AJHL franchis and is currently the only AJHL player committed to Clarkson, which is located in Potsdam, N.Y.
After a solid rookie season in 2010-11, which saw him register 29 points in 59 games he looks to far exceed those numbers this season. With 22 points through 41 games this season, the offensive production has to be considered a bit of a disappointment for Paskaruk, but his true value to the Bandits is his ability to play a sound two-way game.
There are many small things in Paskaruk’s game that first got him recognized by the Spokane Chiefs, taking him in the 7th round in the 2009 WHL draft. The 5’10″ forward isn’t the biggest player on the ice, but the way he competes brings positive attention to him every shift. The amount of board battles that he wins and comes out with puck control is amazing. The body control that he displays along the board is impressive, especially in the offensive zone. The centreman was also above 60% on the draw in both games that I attended and seemed to pay more attention in his defensive zone.
At the next level, his speed will set him apart from other skaters. He is very speedy and skates very low to the ice. He’s also got a high motor, not dropping off from the 1st to 3rd period. After speaking with Head Coach and General Manager, Ryan Papaioannou he echoed that his skating and puck pursuit were big strong points of Paskaruk’s game and that makes him one of the best penalty killers on the team.