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Michael Paliotta: 2011 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

This will be last draft prospect profile before the 2011 NHL Entry draft, which is happening on Friday.

The USHL and US National Development Team have been starting to develop some quality prospects. This season has quite a few players who could go in the first round, like Rocco Grimaldi, Connor Murphy, Tyler Biggs, Scott Mayfield and John Gibson, as well as some current NHL prospects like Jon Merrill. Today's profile will be about Michael Paliotta, a defenseman who is with the US National Development Team.

Who is Michael Paliotta?












Michael Paliotta is a defenseman from the USA U-18 squad, also known as the US National Development Team. However, after next season he is commented to Vermont. Paliotta's biggest accomplishment this season has to be that he was part of the gold medal winning team at the IIHF U-18 Tournament in April. Paliotta is not a very good offensive player- with 13 points in 52 games, but his size and skating ability gives him the potential to be an effective shutdown defenseman.

Kirk Luedeke interviewed Paliotta at Bruins 2011 Draft Watch
, so you can read that if you want a more in depth look at Paliotta.

What People are saying about Paliotta

"He’s a big defenseman with a lot of potential. He has good skill level. He has really improved over the course of the season. He is tall and still getting used to his body and filling in. He is more confident. He has a good shot, good stick skills, makes a good first pass and has a good defensive stick. He will get better and better as he fills in." - USA U 18 Head Coach Ron Rolston (for those wondering, he is related to Brian Rolston)

Red Line Report had him in the first round of their rankings up until last month when they dropped him into the second. Much of that has to do with a lack of pure production from him, which given his skating and size, may mark him as more of a shutdown 'D' at the next level as opposed to the always in demand puck mover with upside. Bright, articulate and driven, Paliotta will take his game to the University of Vermont next season. - Kirk Luedeke

An Opinion of Sorts

From what others have had to say about Paliotta, he's likely going to be a big shutdown defenseman. He can play physical, and given a few years in Vermont he'll have more time to fill out his big frame. What's the real selling point about Paliotta is that he can skate better than the average shutdown- which means he probably won't be like Colin White. Paliotta's biggest weakness has to be his puck moving ability- he's prone to make a few mistakes when it comes to passing the puck.

Should the Devils draft Paliotta? Personally, with alot of defensive prospects with similar defensive abilities but better puck moving abilities, drafting for an organizational need with a player like Wuthrich and drafting defense in the next round.

NHL Player i'd compare him to...

Mark Stuart- Big shutdown defenseman who can skate but can't do much offensively.

Your Opinion

What do you think of Paliotta? Do you think he's worth drafting in the 3rd round? Do you think the Devils should pass on him and draft another defenseman in the later rounds? Thanks for readingw