The Canucks have signed one of their top prospects this morning, with Adam Gaudette putting pen to paper on a three-year entry level contract
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 26, 2018
Northeastern University was knocked out of the NCAA Northeast Regionals on Saturday afternoon and it was only a matter of time for the organization to get Gaudette under contract. The 2015 5th round pick will be joining the Canucks in the coming days and it’s possible that he will make his NHL debut on Thursday, or shortly thereafter. Given his age, Gaudette’s deal will automatically burn a year of the contract even if he doesn’t play. The organization had the option to have the deal start next year, but it’s clear that the burning of the year this season was something to help get the deal done.
Once Gaudette appears in an NHL game, he will be ineligible to play for Utica this season and would also then require protection in the hypothetical 2020 Seattle expansion draft. Casey Mittelstadt was signed by Buffalo earlier today and he won’t require protection in that hypothetical draft as he is deemed 19 years old for this year.
On the positive side, based on article 10.2c of the NHL CBA, Gaudette won’t be eligible for an offer sheet or have arbitration rights at the conclusion of this entry-level contract.
would put him on the Boeser path to 10.2 (c) free agency after his ELC expires, leaving him without arbitration rights and not eligible for an offer sheet https://t.co/zaTdw7YBRr
— nobody (@petbugs13) March 24, 2018
Gaudette finishes his collegiate career with 142 points in 116 games, which includes a 30 goal and 30 assist performance this season. At this moment, he leads in the NCAA in goals, points, points per game, and powerplay points and should finish in first in those categories unless one of the final four players, like Cooper Marody, puts up astounding numbers over the final two games. Gaudette’s accolades this year include Hockey East Player of the Year, Beanpot MVP, being named the Hockey East Player of the Month twice, and the Hockey Commissioners’ Association National Player of the Month twice.
Adding Gaudette brings some excitement to the remainder of the season for the organization. Obviously, in the perfect world, the deal would start next season and the organization wouldn’t burn a year for a few games in a dead season but there are some benefits to doing it now and it eliminates any risk of Gaudette thinking about testing UFA waters at the conclusion of his NCAA career.
Watching Gaudette grow as a player over his time at Northeastern has been fun to watch and him taking the next step to professional hockey should be an exciting idea for Canucks fans. It’s fair to believe that he won’t burst onto the scene like Brock Boeser did, almost no one does that, but getting a player like Gaudette with a 5th round selection is already fantastic value. But it should be interesting to see how Gaudette can adapt to the NHL game. He has the tenacity, work ethic, and offensive abilities to be an exciting player to watch.