Paul Mara was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning 7th overall in the 1997 NHL entry draft.
Born in Belmont, Massachusetts; Paul Mara represented his country several times in the World Junior Hockey Championship. Mara played for the United States in the 1996-1997, 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 World Junior Hockey Championships.
Paul Mara played high school hockey at Bellmont Hill High School in Massachusetts. His second year as a 15 year old, Paul Mara scored 38 points in 28 games. After two years of high school hockey Paul Mara decided to head up north and play for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League. Paul would later admit it was the best decision of his life to go play in the OHL.
During his second season of playing for the Sudbury Wolves, Mara was part of a 3 team trade with the Windsor SpitFires which saw him head to the Plymouth Whalers on December 16, 1997. Mara spent one final year in the OHL before being drafted by the Lightning. During Paul Mara’s 3 year OHL career he averaged around a point per game as defenseman.
After two years of splitting his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Lightning’s affiliate team the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League, Mara finally seemed to have solidified a spot in the NHL before being traded to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Paul Mara developed into a reliable defenseman for the Coyotes and would spend 5 NHL seasons with the club. During the off-season of 2006 Paul Mara was traded to the Bruins for defenseman Nick Boynton. After 59 games in a Bruins jersey Mara was shipped to the Rangers and spent the next 3 season there before signing in Montreal.
After a disappointing season with the Canadiens (partially due to an injury) Paul Mara signed with the Anaheim Ducks for a 1 year contract worth $ 750,000. Mara would later find his way back to the Canadiens organization before the 2010-2011 trade deadline.
Paul Mara is a big body defenseman. He doesn’t necessarily have a special talent but is an all around solid reliable defender. You will usually find Paul Mara on the third defensive pairing. Paul Mara does a good job at using his tall strong frame to push players off pucks but is on the slow side and has trouble keeping up. Mara plays well when he gets involved physically and simplifies his game. Mara has a decent shot from the point and was once a powerplay specialist in Phoenix.
Mara is not afraid to drop the gloves and will stick up for his teammates. He is a great communicator and a team player.
Paul’s older brother Rob Mara was drafted by the BlackHawks in 1994 so hockey runs in Mara’s blood.
Paul Mara sports one of the bushiest beard you will ever see.
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