Canucks: Adam Gaudette will break out next season

VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 12: Adam Gaudette #88 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates after scoring during their NHL game against the Nashville Predators at Rogers Arena November 12, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 12: Adam Gaudette #88 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates after scoring during their NHL game against the Nashville Predators at Rogers Arena November 12, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Vancouver Canucks centre Adam Gaudette has already displayed signs of what’s to come in 2020-21.

It’s no secret that the Vancouver Canucks exceeded expectations this season, to say the least.

Many players stepped up as a result of the strong team efforts. This includes 2019 offseason trade acquisition J.T. Miller and veteran winger Tanner Pearson.

The 2019-20 season is on pause, and the league has not made a final decision yet. While we wait, it’s never too early to look ahead to 2020-21. One question to consider for next yearis this: Which Canuck will break out next?

The answer could be 23-year-old centre Adam Gaudette. Here’s why.

Offence

Gaudette’s statistics this season somewhat improved compared to the 2018-19 season. Playing relatively the same amount of games throughout the last two seasons, his point production pretty much doubled this year.

With 33 points in 59 games played in comparison to 12 points in 56 games, the Braintree, Massachusetts native will look on to be more than a bottom-six forward. If Gaudette played a healthy 82 games this season, he would’ve finished his year on pace for 46 points.

He has also been a key factor on the second power play unit, with four goals and 12 points on the man advantage. And assuming how next season goes, everything will depend on his teammates on the ice. The number of goals on the ice, while he is at even strength, jumped up from 17 in 2018-19 to 30 in 2019-20.

Like his much-improved teammate Jake Virtanen, Gaudette still has a lot to offer to the team at a young age. With more ice time and power play opportunities, he will most likely be a 40-50 point game player. His late game-winner against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 2 in a highly entertaining and memorable 7-5 win shows that maybe a little bit of clutch in him will be needed.

Expectations

Although teams will likely be a bit rusty when hockey theoretically resumes, players will be more dedicated than ever when they’ll return on the ice. And Gaudette definitely had some motivation this season.

With his passionate celebrations rustling through the squad, his play next year will be more than welcome. Let’s not forget that he was selected in the fifth round (149th overall) in the 2015 draft.

Next. Canucks: 3 players that exceeded expectations this year. dark

The fact that he is an NHL player at the age of 23 shows that the Canucks can expect more from him in 2019-20.