Musings of Interest: Adam Pardy

 

A 6th rounder in the 2004 entry draft, Pardy has very slowly, very steadily moved his way up the organizations depth chart over the last 5 years. A long shot from day one, Pardy was a rookie for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) at the age of 19. He played just 7 games that year, scoring a single point. He was a regular as a 20 year old the next season, appearing in 68 games, managing 16 points. The Flames scouts saw something that year despite his age and mediocre numbers and drafted him the following summer.

Pardy's results took a jump during his overage season. He scored 12 goals and 39 points, a team high amongst defensemen. Of course, he was also a 21 year old playing against teenagers, so that's not terribly surprising nor revealing. Pardy's long, unlikely road to the big leagues actually began in the ECHL in 2005, where he played a majority of the season with the Flames Affiliate in Las Vegas. He garnered just 12 points in 41 games with the Wranglers, but was also called up for spot duty with the Omaha Knights (24 games, 0 points).

Adam made the AHL club for good in 06/07. It was the same season Dustin Boyd and Andrei Taratukhin led the team in scoring and David Moss made the leap to the NHL. Once again, none of Pardy's results were notable. He lagged behind guys like Brad Ference and Brett Palin in terms of offensive production and was a middle-defender on the club.

The big step forward came the next year, where Pardy almost made the Flames out of training camp. His relative poise and size made him one of the final cuts from camp that season, setting the stage for his "break-out" performance: in the AHL, Pardy was a top pairing defender for the Quad City. His ice time and output jumped and he was elected to the AHL all-star game as a result. He would go on to make the big club for good the next year.

Pardy obviously doesn't have a very high ceiling. At 25 years old, we're probably closer to his peak than his floor. That said, I liked what I saw out of Adam last year - he's big, relatively mobile and doesn't panic with the puck (aside from one or two rookies errors which I assume will disappear with experience). I doubt he'll ever become a top 4 defender, but he could become one of those valuable bottom pairing guys who is cheap, but relatively reliable.

Given the glut of talented hopefuls bubbling under the suface in the Flames organization and his limited ceiling, Pardy's spot on the roster may be in jeopardy in the near future. Pelech, Kronwall and Stralman will be fighting for his job this season, while Negrin, Aulie and eventually Erixon are a year or two away. In fact, I can picture Pardy sticking around till the end of his current deal (700k till 2011) and then bolting for greener (read: less crowded) pastures.

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