Spotlight on Max Pacioretty in 2020 / Vegas Golden Knights

Max Pacioretty #67, Brayden McNabb #3, Nicolas Roy #10 and William Karlsson #71 of the Vegas Golden Knights

Max Pacioretty will be buzzing after the first All-Star appearance of his career. Pacioretty was selected after Jakob Silfverberg was excused to witness the birth of his son. Pacioretty thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity, providing two assists during Pacific’s victory over Central and inviting his two sons onto the ice during the skills event.

The All-Star appearance has provided a well-deserved feather in the cap for Pacioretty. His NHL career is into its 12th season now, and his second franchise. This season looks to be one of his best. He has already scored 21 goals and provided 26 assists. It would be worth exploring the odds of him beating his career-best goal-scoring season.

Pacioretty doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves. You may find the odd news article about his availability and impact on the squad, but outside of Montreal, you will find him underrated. Looking back at his career, you can see the quality and determination that Pacioretty puts in, season after season.

Early career

Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens poses for a portrait during the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Pacioretty was born on 20 November 1988 in New Canaan, Connecticut. In his freshman year at New Canaan High School, he led his state in points scored. He then moved to The Taft School in Watertown.

Pacioretty spent one season in the United States Hockey League (USHL). He scored 21 goals and provided 42 assists for the Sioux City Musketeers. At the end of the season he entered the 2007 NHL Draft.

The Montreal Canadiens selected him as the 22nd pick overall. He was sent to play for the University of Michigan for the 2007-2008 season and scored 15 goals and 23 assists in 36 games. This was enough to show the Canadiens his quality, and they signed Pacioretty to a three-year contract.

Montreal Canadiens

Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens skates the puck during NHL game against the Vancouver Canuck

During his first season with the Canadiens, Pacioretty was sent out to their top affiliate team, the Hamilton Bulldogs. There he played 37 games with 6 goals and 23 assists. He was called up to the Canadiens first team in the same season and played 34 games with 3 goals and 8 assists. He scored on his debut in the game against the New Jersey Devils on 2 January 2009.

In the 2009-2010 season, Pacioretty spent the bulk of the season with the Canadiens and briefly with the Bulldogs. He played 52 games for the Canadiens, scoring 3 goals and registering 11 assists. For the Bulldogs he played 18 games, scoring 2 goals and providing 9 assists.

Pacioretty then began the 2010-2011 season back with the Hamilton Bulldogs, playing 27 games with 17 goals and 15 assists. His good form earned him a callup to the Canadiens, where he played 37 games with 14 goals and 10 assists.

Towards the end of the season, Pacioretty suffered a bad collision with a stanchion at the end of a bench. Pacioretty lay motionless on the ice as the replays showed how bad the impact was. It left him with a severe concussion and fracture to his vertebra. Pacioretty would thankfully recover in time for the 2011-2012 season.

The 2011-2012 season would be one of his best. Pacioretty won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy and finished the season as the Canadiens’ leading points scorer after scoring 33 goals and providing 32 assists. At the end of the season, Pacioretty signed a six-year contract with the Canadiens.

The 2012-2013 season was hampered slightly by the labor lockout. Pacioretty played 44 games, scoring 15 goals and providing 24 assists. He also played five games in the National League in Switzerland.

The 2013-2014 season would usher in four fantastic seasons for Pacioretty. He played 73 games, scoring 39 goals and 21 assists. This form earned him selection as an alternate captain in September 2014. The Canadiens made it all the way to the Conference Finals before losing against the New York Rangers. Many sports betting fans had them as the favorites.

The following season Pacioretty would continue to impress. He played 80 games, scoring 37 goals and providing 30 assists. When he was playing, the sports betting odds favored the Canadiens. At the end of the season, Pacioretty was named as the captain of the team. The Canadiens made it as far as the Conference Semi-Finals in the playoffs.

In the 2015-2016 season, despite leading by example, the Canadiens did not qualify for the playoffs. Pacioretty played 82 games, scoring 30 goals and providing 34 assists. Once again he was not selected for the All-Star weekend.

The following season, the Canadiens bounced back to the playoffs thanks to the form of Pacioretty. Over 81 games in the 2016-2017 season, he scored 35 goals and provided 32 assists. This was a joint best points haul for a season in his career, having also scored 67 points in the 2014-2015 season.

Unfortunately, Pacioretty wouldn’t bring the Stanley Cup back to the Canadiens. The 2017-2018 season would be his last with the team. With his contract ending soon, Pacioretty injured his knee in a game against the New York Islanders. This put him out for up to six weeks. Pacioretty would end the season having played 64 games, scoring 17 goals and providing 20 assists.

By August 2018, it was apparent that his time with the Canadiens may be coming to a close. Many NHL sports betting platforms had odds that he was on the way out. Despite this, Pacioretty’s popularity amongst the Canadiens faithful fans wasn’t diminished in the slightest.

He spent eleven great years with the franchise. At one point, McDonald’s restaurants in Quebec put a ‘Max 67’ burger on the menu, ‘67’ being his shirt number. By 10 September 2018, he was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Vegas Golden Knights

Colin Miller #33 of the Buffalo Sabres skates with the puck against Max Pacioretty #67 of the Vegas Golden Knights

Pacioretty signed a four-year contract extension with the Golden Knights worth $28 million. His first season with the Knights wasn’t bad, but there were concerns that he may have passed his peak years. He played 66 games in the 2018-2019 season, scoring 22 goals and providing 18 assists.

The previous season, the Knights had made it to the Stanley Cup final, where they lost to the Washington Capitals. Sports betting trends were out the window as the Knights made it to the Stanley Cup in their very first season as a franchise. Many wondered if they could do it again.

The 2018-2019 season would not be as good, and the Golden Knights dropped out in the First Round. There would have been a few sports betting providers breathing a sigh of relief.

Thankfully for the Golden Knights, Pacioretty was not done. In the same way that Pacioretty bounced back from his fractured vertebra, he has made an excellent comeback from last season’s disappointment.

This season, Pacioretty looks on course to register a career-best season. He has already scored 21 goals and provided 26 assists. This form has finally been noticed, and after Silfverberg pulled out of the All-Star weekend, Pacioretty got the call. Finally, people took notice of the great stats that Pacioretty has put out for the majority of his career.

A great example of his impact on the team is the standing ovation and video tribute that the Canadiens gave him on his first return to Montreal. There’s no doubt that this season is forcing Pacioretty into the hearts of Golden Knights fans as well.

Winning over the faithful

If Pacioretty truly wants to put himself in the Golden Knights’ fans hearts, he will want to help guide the team to the playoffs this season, and perhaps the Stanley Cup. They are currently locked in a scrap in the Pacific Division. Going into the All-Star weekend, one point separated from fifth. It’s an NHL sports betting Division of choice as there are sure to be some upsets along the way.

Online sports betting is a great way to enjoy the highs and lows of the season, and a division like the Pacific. Keeping in the loop with the latest sports betting news will help you stand the best chance of making the right pick. With Pacioretty on the roster, there is a good chance that Golden Knights will be in the conversation, come April.

If you enjoy keeping up with the latest sports betting trends, register with BetMGM for the best online sports betting experience.

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