Athlete – Hockey
A native of Whitby, Paul played his minor hockey in the Whitby Minor Hockey Association, including several years as a member of the Whitby Wildcats; it was here that he developed his love of the game and his appreciation for the camaraderie exhibited among teammates.
Each winter during his childhood, Paul would spend endless hours after school skating with his friends and honing his skills on backyard rinks built by his parents. This dedication was rewarded when Paul was drafted, as an underage player, by the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) after his Major Bantam AAA season.
Paul played all four seasons of his OHL career with Oshawa; he soon developed into a team leader and became an assistant captain of the team in the 2003-2004 season. That year, Paul participated in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Top Prospects Game, as well as the CHL Canada-Russia Challenge, and the 2004 OHL All-Star Game; he was also nominated for the Max Kaminsky Trophy, an award given to the OHL’s best defenseman each season.
Paul’s dream to play professional hockey came true when he was chosen by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the sixth round of the 2002 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft. Upon the completion of his OHL career in 2004, Paul joined the Springfield Falcons, Tampa Bay’s affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL), for the 2004-2005 season.
After one season in the AHL, Paul attended Tampa Bay’s training camp in September 2005 and earned a roster spot on the defensive corps of the defending Stanley Cup Champions. In his first year in the NHL, Paul set a record for assists by a Lightning rookie defenseman with 17, and posted a 1.20 points-per-game average in the playoffs. He began to thrive in Tampa Bay and developed into a top young defenseman in the league, evident by his selection to take part in the NHL Young Stars game in January 2007.
After two shoulder surgeries and a sabbatical from the NHL, he resurrected his professional hockey career in 2012-2013 with the Toronto Marlies (AHL), followed by a season with the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and another in the Swiss-A league. While with the Leafs, Paul was nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. He finished his NHL career with 323 games, 24 goals, and 82 assists for a total of 106 points.