Canucks: A look at Adam Gaudette’s steady development

Vancouver Canucks forward Adam Gaudette has grown into a solid third-line role, but his stats suggest he is producing at a borderline second-line rate.

The Vancouver Canucks have had a superb season in contending for a playoff spot. A significant reason for their success is credited to their increase in depth in all positions. One player who has improved to help the Canucks’ success is centre Adam Gaudette.

The Canucks selected Gaudette in the fifth round — 149th overall — in the 2015 NHL draft. Gaudette then spent the next couple of seasons playing for Northeastern in the NCAA, where he totaled 142 points in 116 games.

In the summer of 2017, Canucks fans where able to witness a flash of what was to come from Gaudette when he played against Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser in the Top Prospects Summer Showdown top. Gaudette matched Pettersson’s two goals (ignoring shootout) to prove he is just as dangerous as the recent fifth overall selection.

In his final year with Northeastern in the 2017-18 season, Gaudette totaled 30 goals and 60 points in 38 games, which resulted in him being awarded with the Hobey Baker Award, while also helping Northeastern win the Beanpot tournament for the first time in 30 years. Gaudette then signed with the Canucks following his season with Northeastern, where he played five games, but unfortunately was unable to register any points.

He would eventually go on to score his first goal on Nov. 24, 2018 against the Los Angeles Kings which you can watch here. While some fans anticipated Gaudette to have solid immediate impact, he would spend 2018-19 season split between the Canucks and the Utica Comets. He registered 12 points over 56 games with Vancouver, and 11 points in 14 games with Utica.

While some may have had doubt of the player Gaudette could become, Pierre McGuire appeared on TSN 1040 in March of 2019 and expressed his belief that Gaudette could be a 50-70 point player.

This season, Gaudette aimed to prove what kind of player he is. Hopping between the Comets and the Canucks until November, Gaudette solidified his spot with the Canucks when he tallied seven points over eight games to start the month.

In 49 games so far this season, Gaudette has totaled ten goals and 27 points, which means he would be on pace for a 45-point season over a full 82 games. Production as such is plentiful on the third line, and would be serviceable second-line production. Further, Gaudette has recently seen time on the second power play unit, which is a testament to his development.

Gaudette’s massive improvement from his prior season with the Canucks has helped add much needed secondary scoring and depth to alleviate pressure off players such as Pettersson and Boeser. A healthy issue for the Canucks has risen as they now have a logjam of talented centers in their corps, which is encouraging, as they are a team who are looking to leave rebuilding behind and begin contention once again.

Gaudette has made a name for himself as a Canuck, from his energizing goal celebrations to his recent fight against Chicago Blackhawks’ Connor Murphy. Adding an electric element to Vancouver, fans are able to witness a spark of what is yet to come from the American.

From improving his point production from 0.214 in his first year to 0.551, and leaving a lasting legacy at Northeastern which has given them momentum to continue their success into a “threepeat” Beanpot championship, Gaudette’s career is still just beginning.

Toying with the potential of becoming a top-six forward, Gaudette has nonetheless proven that he was a steal when the Canucks selected him in the fifth round five years ago.