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Jakob Pelletier opens up about 2023-24 season struggles

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Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Paige Siewert
21 days ago
This article is brought to you by bet365.
Jakob Pelletier was high on the list of prospects fans and media alike were excited to see blossom in the 2023-24 season. He made the jump to the NHL in the back half of the 2022-23 season and it looked like this was going to be the season for him to make it a full-time role. Unfortunately, life and circumstances around his physical health had another plan.
In pre-season play, Jakob Pelletier suffered an upper-body injury that prevented him from playing for the Flames or the Wranglers until 2024. Pelletier reflected on his preparation prior to this injury saying,
“Last year I came into camp, I felt great. Worked on my shot a lot. Worked in the gym all summer. I felt confident in myself. Then the injury happened.”
He and Kevin Rooney waved from the Flames bench on opening night but both went through a journey of recovery together. Pelletier started his return to play in late January but still went a good three months without his usual hockey routine. 
While a couple of players injured early usually don’t have many positives attached to it, Pelletier expressed his gratitude for having a peer along for the ride in his recovery journey.
“You see the guys. When they’re on the road it was more tough because you don’t see them. Good thing Kev, (Kevin Rooney) was with me at that time. He kinda helped me. That’s what I told him, good thing you were down there otherwise I would’ve lost it.”
On Jan. 26, Pelletier returned to the Wranglers lineup to play the San Jose Barracuda. His AHL conditioning stint was short with him just skating in four games. He scored in his second game and by his fourth outing, he was up to three points on his AHL season. At this point, the Flames called him back up to see how he was looking at the NHL level.
The young forward still came up to the Flames with skill and excitement but something about him was not quite the same. 
“I came back and I felt great until the second injury hurt me more mentally than physically. It was the same shoulder again. It wasn’t related but still, I missed three more weeks. And you know me when I’m not playing hockey I’m like not the same person a little bit.”
Pelletier’s persona in his professional career was very much developed as a high-energy confident player. When his opportunity to shine and regular social setting with his teammates was taken away, it really took a toll on the young forward. Not to mention that wasn’t the only thing going on in his life. Pelletier revealed in his Wranglers exit meeting on May 13th that his support system was also taking a hit on the health side. He revealed his father is battling cancer and that was a hard thing for his family to work through this year. He confirmed his dad is stable and well and something as significant as this would definitely affect one’s personality and performance.
When Pelletier returned after his second shorter injury, he was not as noticeable as fans came to know. His ice time was limited and his opportunities at the NHL level were few and far between. The organization made the move to send him back down to the Wranglers to finish up the year and hopefully get some playoff time in.
Jakob Pelletier rejoined the AHL affiliate on Mar. 19 and played a good month of hockey to wrap up the regular season and participated in all six playoff games. In his last regular season games he put up three goals and six assists. In playoffs, he put up a point every second game and finished the post-season with one goal and three assists. 
Going into the summer, Pelletier is looking to take full advantage of his health and put in the work. He said,
“I had too much time off this year. I just need to get back to work. It’s a big summer for me. It’s going to be a big year for me next year.”
Part of his summer plan also includes regular on-ice sessions with his Flames “Dad,” Jonathan Huberdeau. He said,
“I’ll skate a little with Huby this summer. Every week, I’m going to Montreal for a day and I’m skating with him.”
This season was one Jakob Pelletier is ready to move on from and who can blame him? The hope for him is that he and his family continue to stay healthy and come back in 2024-25 with a clean slate and a full-time NHL role to earn back.

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