Vancouver Canucks: Adam Gaudette, make Vancouver great again

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 14: Adam Gaudette
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 14: Adam Gaudette /

The Vancouver Canucks may have found a new Jannik Hansen-type player post rebuild. Please Adam Gaudette, help make Vancouver great again!

Though Gaudette’s political views may not fit that of the liberal Vancouver, BC, the young American center is a prospect Vancouver Canucks fans should be excited about! In every season of noteworthy hockey, Gaudette has improved statistically. Also, based on all the available film of Gaudette, he absolutely passes the eye test.

Two-Way Forward

Until Gaudette’s last season with the Northeastern Huskies, he did not put up unreal numbers in the NCAA nor the USHL. Prior to 2016-17, Gaudette no doubt provided offense, scoring 13 goals and 30 points in the USHL and 12 goals in 41 games for again 30 points in the NCAA, but that’s not what defines his game today.

Common among all Gaudette’s video dating back to his USHL days is his deep zone play. Whether setting up a teammate from behind the net, or putting away rebounds, the Vancouver Canucks prospect is a threat in the offensive zone. He is also strong, which helps him win puck and position battles.

In his first season with the Huskies, Gaudette showed all the qualities of a bonafied two-way forward. Either crashing the net or simply waiting near the crease, Gaudette scores in tight. His shot was solid – even his backhand –, he passed well, and was not afraid to block shots.

One quality of Gaudette’s game that isn’t demonstrated in his USHL highlights is fluidity. When Gaudette gains the offensive zone, it’s like the game slows down. No matter who is on his wing he can create chemistry. Take his second goal in the Vancouver Canucks prospect scrimmage:

That type of goal is in almost all of Gaudette’ highlight packages!

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Sophomore Showdown

As a sophomore, Gaudette excelled in every aspect of the game. Look at his points: in just 37 games Gaudette doubled his goal production scoring 26 goals, and added a matching number of assists for 52 points. Gaudette’s is excelling at a fast rate in college, and the Vancouver Canucks are noticing.

Consisting of four juniors, three sophomores, and three seniors, the top ten scorers of the 2016-2017 NCAA season are special. Gaudette finished 9th in scoring. Keep in mind there are 60 Division 1 NCAA hockey teams…do the math, that’s a lot of players! The Vancouver Canucks 2015 fifth round-pick has and fits the profile of a Jim Benning type athlete: European skill with North American heart.

It is too soon to determine if the Vancouver Canucks will hit on this diamond in the rough. However, the organization is eager to see, and even offered Gaudette an opportunity to join the club this summer.

Degree Over Greed

Ben Kuzma from the Vancouver Province confirmed both on TSN 1040 and in an article that the Vancouver Canucks wanted to sign Gaudette this year. Yet, Gaudette chose to remain in college as he believes he needs to mature physically and work on his speed.

Regarding his physicality, hockey sense, and skill, Gaudette is NHL ready. Perhaps a final year in college will help Gaudette fine tune his shortcomings. Realistically, the Vancouver Canucks don’t have room for him on the current roster, nor would they have signed less forwards if he opted out of college.

Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks /

Vancouver Canucks

Thus, a final year as one of the leaders of the Huskies is better than joining an already stacked Utica Comets roster as a depth player. Who knows, the Huskies have a good team – solid balance of talented rookies, sophomores, and seniors – maybe the Vancouver Canucks prospect leads his team into the playoffs this year!

Make Vancouver Great Again

Gaudette loves competition, his game fits in the NHL, and he adds intangible aspects to his team. His effort alone is worth an applause; therefore, it isn’t surprising he easily builds on-ice chemistry as players skate hard to be in ideal positions for Gaudette to reward them. Exactly what the Vancouver Canucks, or any rebuilding team for that matter needs.

Fans got a taste of Gaudette in Vancouver Canucks colours at the prospects summer showdown, where he was one of the most noticeable players of the night. Setting up beautiful goals and intentionally roughing up the Swedes, the young American held nothing back.

“I wanted to show I can play at the same pace”.

Just wait. I know it’s annoying to hear Canucks media make the Ryan Kesler comparison when talking about a two-way player in this market. So, instead I’ll say this: For a player whose models are Patrice Bergeron and Jonathan Toews, Gaudette is going to be a heart and soul player who will help his team regardless of what line he plays on.

Next: Vancouver Canucks Season Preview Boston Bruins Edition

To sum up, time will only tell. But, if Gaudette excels again this year, he could absolutely help make the Vancouver Canucks great again moving forward.