To state it simply, Jakob Pelletier has been absolute dynamite in his first season playing professional hockey and is currently on pace to break the Stockton Heat’s all-time rookie scoring franchise record this season. A few games back, Pelletier already tied Andrew Mangiapane’s second place point total of 41 in 24 fewer games. He’s currently logged 19 goals and 25 assists for a total of 44 points, with seven of his 19 tallies being game-winning goals.
Stockton’s all-time rookie season scoring record is currently held by former Flame Mark Jankowski, who registered 27 goals and 29 assists for a grand total of 56 points. Assuming everything goes smoothly the rest of the way, Pelletier’s pro-rated point totals reflect a record set to be broken as his numbers currently have him on pace for 66 points by season’s end, which would significantly surpass Jankowski’s marker over a full 68-game season.
Jakob Pelletier’s path to success
Jakob Pelletier was selected 26th overall by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft. In his draft year, as a member of the Moncton Wildcats in the QMJHL, Pelletier racked up 39 goals and 50 assists for a total of 89 points through 65 games played.
From there, prior to the 2019–20 season in Moncton, Pelletier was given the captaincy and went on to put up 32 goals and 50 assists for a total of 82 points through 57 games played in that COVID-shortened season.
Prior to the shortened 2020–21 QMJHL season, Pelletier was involved in a trade that saw him acquired by the Val-d’Or Foreurs and instantly went on to also being named their next captain. Finishing 12th in QMJHL scoring last season through 28 games played, he piled up 13 goals and 30 assists for a total of 43 points. He was also selected to Team Canada’s U20 WJC team that Christmas where he racked up a total of three goals and four assists through Canada’s silver medal grab that winter. Pelletier would go on to be a monster in the post-season for Val-d’Or that spring racking up five goals and 18 assists for a total of 23 points through 15 playoff games played.
A first-round pick sitting outside the top 10 in scoring in the Q was not a great sign to many observers, with some starting to quickly write him off as a bust, but this season has significantly proven the doubters wrong. Pelletier has been a phenom for the Heat, and he has earned every minute of his time on the team’s top line.
Isolating Pelletier’s point production
Looking at an isolated sample of Pelletier’s point production which takes into account only his first 36 games played in Stockton this season, a few key stats can be noted. Pelletier’s estimated time on ice per game (eTOI/GP) clocks in at 18.62, just under 19 minutes a night. He was also on the ice for 31 even strength goals for in the same 36-game sample size.
Honing in on purely offensive based 5v5 metrics, it can be observed that Pelletier carries an even strength expected goals for percentage of 62% along with putting up 19 even strength primary points, essentially totalling a 0.5278 primary point-per-game rate. Pelletier also logged 113 shots—along with a shooting percentage of 12.39%—in that span, which has slightly risen from the 10.48% rate he posted over the course of his final junior year last season in Val-d’Or.
His player card by Jacob Stoller shows just how impactful he has been on the ice:
Sights set for both records and the NHL
As we stand, Jakob Pelletier has been nothing short of dynamic over the course of his first pro season in Stockton thus far and he’s already succeeded in giving us plenty of reason to be excited about what the future may hold. If he continues to produce at this level while riding a very reasonable shooting percentage, he could see time with the Flames before this season is through. In the mean time, he’ll chip away at getting his name into the Heat’s record books.
Ahead of tonight’s contest, the bookies have predicted a close underdog, with Betway Sports pricing the Calgary Flames at +110 and the Tampa Bay Lightning at -120 to win the game in regulation, with an overtime decision being priced at +300.