Ed Pasquale is a big guy even at age 18. He stands 6'2" and weighs in at 216. Size is probably less important in the post-lockout NHL for forwards and defenseman as skating is crucial today, but in net size is still a prized attribute. The Red Line Report independent scouting service had him ranked 98th--roughly a high 4th rounder and the Thrashers picked him late in the 4th with selection #117.
Red Line's OHL scout was kind enough to give us his thoughts on Pasquale after the Thrashers selected him.
He's a tall guy who controls his rebounds well. He could improve his puck handling. He covers a lot of net. It has been a down year for goalies in general, but one of these guys will probably bloom and make us scouts all look bad. A key part is his will to compete that probably matters in goal more than at any other position. He has some raw talent, it is a matter of refining it over time.
Perhaps more than any other position, goaltenders take time to develop and perfect their game. The Thrashers select a goalie almost every draft year in order to keep the developmental pipeline stocked. I asked Waddell about trading down within the 4th round and gaining the pick used to take Pasquale.
We had him 2nd on our goalie list, so he was still there in the 4th round and we had an extra pick after moving down in that round. So we thought "let’s pick this kid and put him our bank of prospects and let him grow and develop."
Press Row Comments At NHL Draft
Bird Watchers Anonymous: Can you tell us about your season.
Ed Pasquale: It has been exciting, it has been a long season--with it being my draft year and now it summed up nicely here.
BWA: What were your personal highlights in your draft year?
EP: Probably getting to play in the Top Prospects Game. It was special for both me and my family. The OHL All-Star Game too. I wasn't expecting to play in Windsor against the top guys in the league and have fun with everyone there.
BWA: In Atlanta we don't see many OHL highlights, so could you describe your style as a goalie?
EP: I'm a bigger goalie and I take up a lot of net. I try to come out and challenge the shooter. If they're going to score against me it has to be a pretty good shot. I have a relaxed style. I don't drop into a butterfly on every shot but stay up more. I try to battle and work hard on the ice.
BWA: What part of the net is it toughest to beat? Five hole, glove hand, stick side?
EP: I'd say the glove hand, I like to throw the leather every now and then.
BWA: Did you have any hint that Atlanta might be interested in you during the season?
EP: I talked to them a couple of times, but I talked to a lot of teams. There are so many teams that you have no idea until your name is called. I'm proud that Atlanta picked me, it is a great organization.
BWA: Happy to have the wait finally over with?
EP: Yes! It is a long wait sitting there with your family and friends--watching guys you played with get taken. But it is a special thing no matter what round you're taken in.
MQ: How important was it for you to be traded away from Belleville to Saginaw where you could move into the #1 goalie role?
EP: Oh it was huge. Me and Murphy in Belleville we knew that it would happen but we thought probably not until summer...but it has worked for him and I hope follow in his footsteps.
MQ: What do you need to work in Saginaw to prepare you to make the jump to the next level.
EP: My goal with Saginaw is to be more consistent and give my team a chance to win every night and finally to make a good run in the playoffs.
BWA: Do you happen to know anyone in the Thrashers system?
EP: I played with Chris Carrozzi on the Under 17 Team for Canada and played against Bogosian but I don't know him personally.
BWA: Do you know anything about Atlanta?
EP: I know that Kari Lehtonen has a "Lil Jon" symbol on the back of his helmet.
MQ: What was going through your mind when you heard you name called.
EP: Well first I heard them say "Saginaw" when one of my teammates was drafted and my heart started beating fast--but then it wasn't my name. But it is really special. All year there is this tension, this pressure and at that moment it just flies off your back--it is unbelievalbe.
BWA: If I asked to you to pick just one person who has really pushed you forward in your career so far, who would you pick?
EP: I'd have to give credit to my goalie coach Pierre [???], He's been sitting up there in the stands with me. He's been a great guy, he helps you both on the ice and off the ice. He's played professional hockey and he knows what it is all about. He's a great coach and he's had a big impact on my career.
MQ: Who was your favorite goalie growing up?
EP: Patrick Roy--but it was tough to like him when he was still with the Canadiens because I'm from Toronto. I'd say Ed Belfour--I went to school with his son and I've met him a couple times.
BWA: Is there a NHL goalie who plays a style similar to yours?
EP: I'd say Cristobal Huet, he's a relaxed goalie.
MQ: Any hobbies or interests away from the rink.
EP: I like to golf, my family has a membership at a course.