Paul Szczechura

Basics

Type: 
Out of Organization
Position: 
Center
Shoots/Catches: 
Right
Height: 
5.10
Weight: 
186
Born: 
11/30/1985
Age: 
28
Hometown: 
Brantford, ONT
Acquired: 
Signed as an unrestricted free agent on April 24, 2008
Last Team: 
Minsk (KHL)
Projects As: 
Reserve forward
Prospect Ranking: 
5
Depth Chart Weight: 
7
Grad Date: 
03/12/2010

Draft Info

Draft Status: 
Undrafted

Contract

Contract Status: 
Signed
Waiver Status: 
Waiver Eligible
Signing Date: 
07/16/2010
Contract Type: 
Two-way
Contract Length: 
1 year
Cap Number: 
$550 000
Contract Start Year: 
2010
Contract End Year: 
2011
Contract End Status: 
UFA
Salary: 
$550 000

Bio

History: 

Midget Career

  • Paul Szczechura grew up as a midget hockey superstar in Brantford, Ontario, home of the Gretzkys, winning a MWJHL scoring title in his final season at that level before moving on to Western Michigan of the CCHA.

College Career

  • With the Broncos, Szczechura quickly became a star scoring 45 goals and 130 points over the course of his four year, 153 game college career to go along with 107 career penalty minutes.

Professional Career

  • Despite his solid college career, Szczechura was passed over by the NHL Draft. In 2007 he signed an ATO contract with Iowa Stars where he scored 3 goals and 7 points in 14 games to go with 19 penalty minutes. In 10 playoff games with Iowa, Szczechura had 1 goal and 4 points in 10 games with 8 penalty minutes.
  • That summer, he signed an AHL contract with Iowa and in 2007-2008 he started his first full AHL campaign. After 29 games with Iowa, in which he had a disappointing 2 goals and 5 points with 15 penalty minutes, he was sent to the Norfolk Admirals for future considerations as a part of a swap that sent Dan Jancevski to the Stars in exchange for Junior Lessard. With the Admirals, Szczechura blossomed, scoring 14 goals and 26 points in 24 games with 16 penalty minutes.
  • In the summer of 2008, Szczechura was signed to a two year deal by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • The 2008-2009 season marked Szczechura's ascension to the NHL. He started the year in Norfolk, eventually compiling 13 goals and 29 points in 33 games. At the start of December Szczechura earned a recall to the Lightning, playing in his first NHL game on December 2nd against the Philadelphia Flyers. He scored his first NHL goal on December 8th at Boston and finished the season with 4 goals and 9 points in 31 games with a -1 rating and 12 penalty minutes.

Scouting Report

Scouting Comments: 

"The mark of a great player is when they have the ability to elevate the play of the players around them. Szczechura did more to elevate the play of a prospect like Radek Smolenak in a month than any player or coach had done in the prior one and a half seasons. He's not the most athletically gifted player, but he's a solid, smart, good all-around hockey player, and those types of players are the ones coaches are looking for at any level of the sport." - Pete, BoltProspects

Strengths: 

Szczechura is a smart playmaker with very good vision at the offensive side of the rink and soft hands around the net. He's a tireless worker with a high motor who has had to earn his place thus far in his hockey career: nothing has been handed to him. He's solid defensively and on draws. Body positioning and hockey sense are excellent, which makes him look quicker than he actually is. Put simply, he's just a good all-around hockey player.

Weaknesses: 

The biggest knocks on Szczechura have been his lack of size, which has contributed to a lack of durability that has plagued him over the past two seasons.

Projection: 

Szczechura came out of nowhere to earn a contract with the Lightning in the summer of 2008 and now has to be taken seriously as a contender to become a permanent fixture with the Lightning at the center position. The Lightning have already struck gold twice recently with undrafted college players with Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin, Szczechura could be the third. The key is for Szczechura to stay healthy and learn to condition himself like a professional player. If can become more durable, he projects as a solid third line player who can occassionally spot on a scoring line.

Statistics

Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2001-2002 Brantford Golden EaglesMWJHL47 25 2853 -|        
 2002-2003 Brantford Golden EaglesMWJHL46 43 75118 22|        
 2003-2004 Western Michigan Univ.NCAA39 9 1120 12|        
 2004-2005 Western Michigan Univ.NCAA37 6 2329 22|        
 2005-2006 Western Michigan Univ.NCAA40 10 2636 47|        
 2006-2007 Western Michigan Univ.NCAA37 19 2645 26|        
  Iowa StarsAHL14 3 47 19|Playoffs10 3 14
 2007-2008 Iowa StarsAHL29 2 35 15|        
  Norfolk AdmiralsAHL24 14 1226 16|        
 2008-2009 Tampa Bay LightningNHL31 4 59 12|        
  Norfolk AdmiralsAHL33 13 1629 26|        
 2009-2010 Tampa Bay LightningNHL52 5 27 18|        
  Norfolk AdmiralsAHL35 8 2129 24|        
 2010-2011 Norfolk AdmiralsAHL79 21 3051 43|Playoffs3 1 01
 2011-2012 Buffalo SabresNHL9 1 34 4|        
  Rochester AmericansAHL57 21 2546 26|Playoffs3 0 11
 2012-2013 HC Lev PrahaKHL3 0 00 2|        
  Dinamo RigaKHL43 8 2028 18|        
  Dinamo RigaNadezhda Cup13 5 712 18|        
 2013-2014 Dinamo RigaKHL53 17 1835 42|Playoffs7 0 44
 2014-2015 Dinamo MinskKHL21 6 814 16|        

Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com