Thursday, July 30, 2009

Albany Inks D-Man Jonathan Paiement

Jonathan Paiement
(Photo by Jennifer Bock)

Add another defenseman to your list. Jonathan Paiement is on his way back to Albany.

The 24-year-old Montreal-native has reportedly signed an AHL contract with the Rats, meaning he will be back for a second season with the club in 2009-10.

Malcolm Cameron, coach of the Rats' ECHL affiliate, the Florida Everblades, broke the news during an interview with the Naples Daily. “His days in the ECHL are over,” Cameron said of Paiement, revealing that the well-rounded blueliner had inked the AHL deal.

Paiement, last listed at 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, played 45 games with Albany last year, tallying a goal, 11 assists and 38 penalty minutes. Prior to earning a full-time spot on the Rats' roster, he skated in nine contests with the Blades, netting three goals and six assists.

Unfortunately Paiement was injured in the team's February bus crash in the Berkshires. He did not return to action until April. After recuperating, he played one game with the Rats and joined the Everblades for the playoffs.

Paiement, who spent five solid years in the QMJHL as a youngster, was drafted by the New York Rangers in the eighth round in 2004. He played his first professional season in 2006-07 with the ECHL's Texas Wildcatters, earning seven goals and 39 assists in 82 total games. In 2007-08, he played 42 AHL games with the Hershey Bears, scoring three goals and 11 assists.

With Albany last season, Paiement proved to be competent in every sector of the ice. Whether battling along the boards, clearing the front of the net, or patrolling the blue line, he took control of his territory. He played on both special teams and at one point was even assigned shootout duties.

"We have a lot of confidence in him, no matter if it’s five-on-five, power play or penalty kill," said Rats' coach Jeff Daniels to the Schenectady Daily Gazette in January. “He’s played well enough that his spot in the lineup, game in and game out, it’s there."

“Jon’s in a case where he has to bring it every day, and he knows that," Daniels said. "The way he’s doing it right now, he’s here to stay, and he deserves it.”