Just 19 American players have recorded more points in the National Hockey League than Joe Pavelski; when the former Waterloo Black Hawk forward resumes his climb up that list this fall, his goals and assists will benefit a new team.
On Monday, Pavelski signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Stars after spending his first 13 NHL seasons with the San Jose Sharks. According to the Stars, the agreement is for three years at $7 million per season, extending through 2021/22. Pavelski will become the first former Black Hawk to ever skate for Dallas during a regular season game.
San Jose originally drafted Pavelski in 2003, between his first and second seasons with Waterloo. Entering that summer, the Plover, Wisconsin, native had just won the United States Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year award after leading the Black Hawks and the USHL in goals (36). He also paced the Hawks in assists (33), points (69), and plus/minus (+26). The following year, Pavelski led Waterloo to the Clark Cup. As team captain, he had a team-high 21 goals, plus 31 assists.
No former Black Hawk has been more successful in the NHL. Pavelski is a three-time All-Star and has appeared in 963 regular season games with 355 goals and 761 points. All of those figures lead Waterloo alumni at the NHL level. In addition, Pavelski’s 100 points in the Stanley Cup playoffs make him one of just 11 Americans to have reached that threshold.
Before skating for the Sharks, Pavelski was a member of the University of Wisconsin’s 2006 National Championship squad. Additionally, the 34-year-old is a two-time Olympian, representing the United States in 2010 and 2014. The U.S. won a silver medal during the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Joe Pavelski Notable Moments
• September 27, 2002 – Pavelski makes his Waterloo Black Hawks regular season debut, scoring two goals during a 3-2 win versus the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
• May 5, 2004 – With an assist on Joel Hanson’s game-winning goal, Pavelski and the Black Hawks celebrate winning the Clark Cup after a 2-1 Game Four victory against the Tri-City Storm.
• April 8, 2006 – Pavelski assists on both goals, and the Wisconsin Badgers win the 2006 NCAA title during a 2-1 title game versus Boston College.
• November 22, 2006 – After signing an NHL contract over the summer and spending only a matter of weeks in the American Hockey League, Pavelski is called up by the Sharks. During his debut, he scores versus the Los Angelis Kings.
• February 28, 2010 – The United States Men’s National Team – including Pavelski – wins the silver medal during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
• Spring 2010 – Pavelski has a remarkable playoff run, recording 15 points in San Jose’s first nine postseason games.
• January 18, 2014 – During a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pavelski records his first NHL hat trick. By the end of the 2013/14 season, Pavelski’s 41 goals would represent a career high.
• October 5, 2015 – The Sharks name Pavelski their captain at the outset of the season.
• January 21, 2016 – In Nashville, Pavelski makes the first of three appearances as an NHL All-Star.
• May/June, 2016 – Pavelski leads the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final series versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
• September, 2016 – During the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, Pavelski serves as captain of the United States team.
• July 1, 2019 – Pavelski signs a free agent contract with the Dallas Stars.
Photo courtesy of the San Jose Sharks.