By Joe McDonald
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – There were more than a dozen NHL scouts at all three Providence Bruins games over the weekend, and most were here to see the player who has stunned the AHL with his ability and success.
The only problem was P-Bruins rookie Pascal Pelletier was not in the lineup, to the dismay of the scouts. Currently, he is out with an undisclosed injury, but he likely will be back this weekend. The crafty, hard-working and highly energized forward has caught the attention of many organizations, and one scout in particular said he is certain Pelletier has a future in the NHL.
The fact that there were so many scouts at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center is not unusual, since the NHL trade deadline is March 9. What is significant is that so many were discussing Pelletier’s talents. There were no negative reports.
The 22-year-old native of Labrador City, Newfoundland, first signed a professional tryout agreement with the P-Bruins when he arrived here on Dec. 16, before the club signed him for the rest of the season. When this season ends, he can listen to other offers, and there will be plenty of them.
Because his name is quickly coming to the forefront with other organizations, the Boston Bruins already have had some discussion with Pelletier’s agent, and the organization hopes the two sides can come to an agreement when that time comes.
The Bruins had better hurry up.
“We would want to bring him back,” said Bruins assistant general manager Jeff Gorton. “I would think he would want to come back, considering we were the ones who gave him a chance. He’s played very well in Providence, and the coaching staff really likes him. We’ve learned in the past that guys leave because they think something is better on the other side, but it doesn’t always work that way.”
Pelletier has 31 points in 32 games for the P-Bruins this season. Including his time in Gwinnett (ECHL), he has 61 points in 53 games. In his first professional season in 2004-05, Pelletier had one assist and two penalty minutes in six regular season games and two assists and two penalty minutes in five Kelly Cup Playoff games with Gwinnett and 38 points (10g-28a) and 75 penalty minutes in 61 games with Louisiana.