Kayla Faasse

After 116 games played and 5 years spent in the scarlet and gray uniform, forward Paxton Malone is set to say his farewells to the Skatin’ Rebels in a few weeks.

At only 2-years-old, Malone’s parents put skates on him as he began rollerskating around the house on carpet and taking ice skating lessons. This season marks his 23rd on skates as he quickly fell in love with the sport of hockey.

Throughout his long hockey career, Malone accredits most of his support coming from his family.

“They’re always watching the games and texting me before and after wishing me luck,” Malone said. “My grandparents as well, they’re always texting me about the games.”

Malone spent five years of juniors with the Spokane Braves in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. There he racked up 69 goals and 190 assists (259 points) throughout 201 games before looking into starting his college career.

After receiving multiple offers from other schools, UNLV was the only campus he visited- instantly falling in love with the program.

“I fell in love right away. The program that the coaches have in place, it’s very structured and yet they like to keep it light,” Malone said. “I saw what they were building and I knew where they  it could go. It’s been a lot of fun to be apart of it and it’s just going to keep growing.”

Malone joined UNLV back during the 2018-19 season, the program’s second season playing ACHA Division I.

“I remember my first game against [Colorado-Boulder],” Malone said. “I was very nervous before the game. All the other guys on the other team looked so much bigger than me stepping on the ice during warm-ups. After the game got  going I sinked in and it was all fine.”

During his first year, Malone tallied 16 goals and 16 assists (32 points) in 32 games of action along with an assist in two playoff games. As an underclassman, he took guidance from third-year defenseman Connor Hetzel.

Hetzel was a roommate of Malone’s and led him down the path of being a successful Skatin’ Rebel as he made the transition from junior hockey to the college level.

The following season, Malone saw a high of 22 goals and and 11 assists (33 points) in 36 games before his hockey career came across a year hiatus due to the pandemic.

He was walking home from one of his classes when he heard the news, and it led to the first year in his 20+ year career that he was left without the opportunity to play hockey.

For the 2021-22 season, Malone was finally back in front of the Las Vegas home crowd.

“One of the biggest things for me to decide to come here was seeing the crowd every night,” Malone said. “It’s pretty special  that they show up for every home game. It’s an amazing atmosphere and adds so much energy to the game.”

Last year Malone added five goals and ten assists (15 points) to his career stats during the 30-game regular season followed by a goal and assist in the National Tournament. The Rebels took claim to the 2021 Chicago Classic Champions.

During the tournament, he helped the Rebels make program history entering Nationals as the No. 4 ranked team and making it to the Final Four.

After the successful season in the scarlet and gray, Malone couldn’t let go of his hockey career just yet.

“I wanted to extend my hockey career for as long as I could,” Malone said. “I don’t know if I would have played pro or not and I didn’t want to give up hockey yet. Most importantly, we have a good  group of guys and I wanted another crack at the National Championship as we were so close.”

Entering his senior season as an assistant captain, he looks to help lead the Skatin’ Rebels down another deep run at the National Tournament.

On the year, Malone has totaled five goals and nine assists for 14 points in the regular season  throughout the 18 games he’s faced.

On the long list of achievements, he has played in four NCAA Division I games with the Rebels along with stepping out onto the ice at The Dollar Loan Center, home to the Henderson Silver Knights.

With one final go at the National Tournament, Malone looks forward to the trip with his teammates and making the most out of his final year with the Rebels before officially putting up his skates.

Final Message to the Team 

“Thank you for being great teammates and great people. I wish you guys the best of luck throughout the rest of your career and I’ll be following along the way.”

Message for Incoming Recruits 

“Show up for practices and earn your spot in the lineup. As a freshman it’s hard to get in there so you show up to practice and put in your best effort every day and compete. You’ll be fine.”