Brayden Pachal was a solid contributor for the Calgary Flames in 2023-24

Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Munnich
29 days ago
One of the main themes of the 2023-24 season for the Calgary Flames was that of opportunity. And that was evident when it came to their blueline. The Flames used a league high 15 defencemen throughout the season. One of those 15 blueliners was Brayden Pachal.
Pachal was claimed off the waiver wire on Feb. 4 from the Vegas Golden Knights and proceeded to play in the Flames remaining 33 games of the 23-24 season.

The numbers

Pachal scored one goal and added five assists in 33 games with the Flames. That’s good for a 15-point pace over 82 games. Not bad for a third pairing defenceman.
But points and offensive production is not what Pachal’s game is all about. He is a shut down, defensive defenceman who brings physicality to the game. He led the Flames in hits/60 and was second in hits by a defenceman in the final 33 games of the season.
As for his underlying numbers, Pachal held his own when on the ice. The most impressive number being the high danger corsi for of 54.79%, which means when Pachal was on the ice, the Flames controlled 54.79% (80-66) of high danger chances.

The eye test

Pachal did exactly what the Flames and their fan base wanted him to do. Play third pairing minutes. Don’t give up a ton of chances against. And provide some much-needed physicality to a Flames back end that was lacking that element. And Pachal did exactly that.
Pachal and Oliver Kylington made up a solid second/third defensive pairing for the Flames. They were a good match as Pachal is a stay at home, defensive defenceman. While Kylington is a more offensively defenceman who likes to get involved in the rush.

What’s next for Brayden Pachal?

Pachal is under contract with the Flames next season making $775,000. He will be one of the many defencemen who will be competing for a spot on the Flames third pairing. And it’s going to be a fierce battle as he is going up against the likes of Joel Hanley, Nikita Okhotiuk, Ilya Solovyov, Yan Kuznetsov, and Jeremie Poirier. That doesn’t include any players the Flames plan on bringing in this off-season.
Based on what we saw from Pachal during his brief time with the Flames, i think he has a leg up on his competition for a spot on the Flames third pairing next season. He was the best, most consistent player in that group he is going to be competing with.


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