To have a career in hockey, and more specifically in the National Hockey League, the best league in the world, you don’t necessarily have to be a Connor McDavid or a Nathan MacKinnon, on the contrary.
There are many more secondary players who made it to the NHL and made their careers there.
You don’t have to be a star, high-performing player to have a career in hockey.
You simply have to know how to find your role and play it well, taking advantage of the opportunities that are presented to us.
These various supporting players who make their NHL careers moving around different teams found a way to carve out a role that made them indispensable in an NHL lineup.
I quickly think of the names Nicolas Deslauriers, Ryan Reaves, Casey Cizikas and Nate Thompson.
I’ve only named four, but obviously there are a lot.
What do these players have in common?
Well, they all had (or still have) NHL careers on a fourth line.
They’ve found a way to make themselves indispensable with little details in their game that aren’t necessarily found in the game of top players like McDavid, Kucherov and MacKinnon.
In Montreal, with the Canadiens, there is a player who reminds me of this category of supporting players.
You may have guessed that I’m talking about Michael Pezzetta.
CH number 55 is exactly that type of player who never dominated at any level, but still made it to the NHL.
As ? Because ?
Well, because he knew how to stand out for his unique playing style and because he knew how to find his role and interpret it well.
At 25 years old, Pezzetta has already accomplished much more than anyone could have thought when he was selected in the sixth round (160th overall) by the CH in 2016.
He has played 153 games in the NHL and has not returned to the American League since being called up in 2021.
Pezzetta knew how to make himself indispensable, to the point that the CH management is still trying to find a way not to send him to waivers for fear of losing him.
Although he does not play every game and when he does play, he is on the ice for less than ten minutes, Pezzetta plays his role perfectly, as evidenced by his presence among the top 10 forwards in the NHL.
The data in the tweet below is from February 7, so I will update it in the rest of my article using Stamuse.com.
#NHLStats They say they have “conducted a thorough audit of the hitting statistics in every game this season and made appropriate adjustments” – #Habs Michael Pezzetta is ninth in the #NHL despite having played the fewest matches of any player in the top 20 so far (39 GP)
– Priyanta Emrith (@HabsInHighHeels) February 7, 2024
However, the CH forward is the only one on this list who has played less than 40 games this season.
In fact, in just 39 games, Pezzetta was able to dish out 153 hits, giving him an average of around 3.9 hits per game.
It is also important to note that on this list of players, only Pezzetta (7:35) and Nicolas Deslauriers (8:37) are on the ice an average of less than ten minutes per game.
If we look at the statistics of successes every 60 minutes, Pezzetta is at 2.55, which also places him in tenth place among attackers.
In short, despite his limited playing time and often being in the stands, Pezzetta finds a way to stand out and still be a player who belongs in the NHL.
Although Martin St-Louis seems to give less importance to players of this style of play (we also think of Arber Xhekaj), Pezzetta remains in the picture.
– Well said.
Brad Marchand reflects as he approaches his 1,000th career game. 🐻
-NHL (@NHL) February 10, 2024
These days we are seeing a clash between the Arizona Coyotes and the rest of the world (his words). Chronicle of an agony that never ends. https://t.co/b0zgUq6gUp
— Alexandre Pratt (@alexandrepratt) February 10, 2024
– To follow.
Negotiations for a new agreement with the arbitrators resulted in a proposed collective agreement.
The important dispute over the assistant referee’s salary appears to have been resolved.
The bad scenario where the MLS season begins with… https://t.co/QvPlmdsN5T
— Nilton Jorge (@NiltonJorge) February 10, 2024
– Good news for the Blue Jackets.