VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks current third line center Adam Gaudette had a tough beginning to his career. He had good moments at times and definitely showed potential on different parts of the ice. However the ‘Hockey Gaud’s’ below average rookie campaign wouldn’t be acceptable on most rosters.
With a minus eight rating and only 12 points in 56 games, it was clear that Gaudette needed to improve to stay at the NHL. He has since stepped up to the plate.
Gaudette was projected to be a fringe player on this team. With a wide array of ‘third-line’ players in the organization, some would be forced to spend the season in Utica.
He fought and clawed for every second of ice time during the preseason. Gaudette was arguably the MVP of the Canucks’ preseason as he put up four points in as many games.
Three early regular season games saw Gaudette post only one assist. This did not prove to be particularly impressive in the eyes of Canucks management. Gaudette spent the majority of October as a scratch and even had a brief stint as a Utica Comet.
When he returned to the lineup in November, he did everything he could to cement a roster spot. With seven points and several exhilarating goal celebrations during his first eight games back, he had once again earned his spot.
For the past two months, Gaudette has proven himself to be a valuable offensive asset when centering the third line. Currently, his linemates are Antoine Roussel and Jake Virtanen. Both of those players are having career seasons.
With 18 points in 33 games played Gaudette is showing a lot of potential. Although his faceoff percentage sits at 41.1% and his shooting percentage may not be sustainable at 19.5%, he has undeniably taken steps forward. Gaudette will make his debut on the top power play unit during tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers. If he can perform well in this role, we just might be seeing the beginning of Adam Gaudette’s top six career.
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