Getting to Know Winnipeg Jets’ Ondrej Pavelec
Prior to being the Atlanta Thrashers second round draft pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (41st overall), Ondrej Pavelec spent two seasons with Kladno then was drafted by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) who he played with for two seasons. He had a pretty successful junior career during those two seasons. During his rookie year, he was awarded the Raymond Legacé Trophy for top defensive rookie and the RDS Trophy for rookie of the year as well as named to the All-Rookie team. For each of the two years he played junior, he was named to the first All-star team and won the Jacques Plante Trophy for best goals-against average.
He also represented his home county, the Czech Repubic, in the 2004 Junior World Cup (under-17 team) helping them to win second place and the World Junior Cup (under-18 team) helping them win fourth place. He was the starting goaltender in the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championships (under-20 team).
In 2007-2008 Pavelec helped the Thrashers AHL affiliate, Chicago Wolves, win the Calder Cup. In the following 2008-2009 season, he went back and forth between the AHL and NHL. He previously shared goal tending duties for Atlanta with Johan Hedberg while Kari Lehtonen recovered from off-season back surgery and is currently the number one net minder for the Winnipeg Jets.
Pavelec tends goal using his large 6’3, 220 pound frame and is a butterfly-style net-minder. In the off-season, he goes home to Kladno, Czech Republic with the rest of his family most of whom are also involved in hockey as both his father and sister are coaches in the Czech Republic. When he’s not playing hockey, he enjoys tennis, golf and soccer and if he was not a professional hockey player, he would have like to have been a professional soccer player.