In their time as managers of Aberdeen, Jimmy Calderwood and Mark McGhee were effusive in their praise of the speedy winger whom they backed to become one of Scottish football's stars.
Indeed, when he handed the player a four-and-half-year contract in November 2009, McGhee told the Dons fans to "enjoy Pawlett while you can, because when his deal is up I don't think we'll be able to afford him".
Then the wheels came off; a catalogue of injuries - as well as an unenviable reputation for diving in opposition penalty areas - brought him down and his star seemed destined to fizzle out as someone unable to hit the heights expected of them.
A serious knee injury in January 2010 sidelined Pawlett for the rest of the season. A toe problem three games after his return kept him away from a football for a further three months and suddenly the Aberdeen prodigy was beginning to look like damaged goods.
The sceptics, however, did not reckon on the Hull-born player's indefatigability and application as he became determined to show them that he could, indeed, live up to the hype delivered by Calderwood and McGhee.
Linking up with sports scientist Graham Kirk while on loan at St Johnstone last season was the catalyst as he adopted with almost evangelical passion Kirk's ethos on diet, nutrition and the necessity to embrace the need to prevent injury and illness.
But if Kirk, now part of Aberdeen's backroom team, taught Pawlett how to deal with the physical aspect of being a top sportsman, Pittodrie manager Derek McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty boosted him mentally with barrowloads of reassurance reflected in their preference for him to be deployed in a more central attacking role.
"The management team have given me the confidence to go and play, enjoy myself and express myself," the 21-year-old said.
"They've given me a run of games and they take me into the office and show me clips of matches and what I've done and how I can influence a game. I've got my fitness up and I'm on a roll and I feel really good.
"The new manager has shown he has belief in me and I think I've done all right this season.
"Maybe I'm the kind of player who needs to be spoken to and to be given confidence. There are a few lads in the team who are like that."
Pawlett admitted his time at St Johnstone was an eye-opener for many reasons, not least in allowing him to recognise how big a club Aberdeen is.
"There is a big difference in stature between St Johnstone and Aberdeen," he said. "The fans at St Johnstone were good, but at Aberdeen they are unbelievable and the crowds are much bigger. But there were other little things that made you realise the difference between McDiarmid Park and being at Pittodrie.
"The young lads at St Johnstone had the job of taking your kit home and cleaning it and sometimes it would come back stinking and not cleaned properly. I appreciate Aberdeen a lot more now and going away helped me."
Pawlett expects to underline his side's good start to the season by beating Partick Thistle at Pittodrie tomorrow night and is eager to help the Dons retain their lofty position in the SPFL Premiership.
"Second in the league and in the League Cup semi-finals; you can't really complain," he said. "We have a very good team spirit, we're all mates and there are no cliques and it's good for us.
"The next two games, against Partick and Hearts, are at home and we've got to take six points and hopefully create a gap between us and Inverness and Motherwell in the table."