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Photo Credit: The Huntington News

Canucks sign Adam Gaudette to 3 year entry-level contract

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

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.

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.

  • crofton

    “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.” Would he also require protection if he plays in Utica the rest of this year, but plays in Vancouver next year?

    • Dan the Fan

      I think so. The rules say you get 2 pro years after signing your ELC. The AHL is a pro league, so he’d have to be protected if he plays there. Seattle is expected to join in 2020, so Gaudette will be a pro in 2017/2018, 2018/2019, and 2019/2020.

      But if he would have played in the AHL on a PTO instead of signing an NHL contract, then it wouldn’t have counted. This then would have been a pro season BEFORE the ELC. This would have been far better for the team since he’d get better games in Utica with the playoffs, and he won’t use up an expansion slot, and not burn the first year of his ELC.

  • apr

    I see Gaudette as being an Antoine Vermette type player, which is nothing to sneeze at. I also think Ryan Kesler comparisons are fair, as for the first 3 years with Nucks, everyone was saying that Kesler’s ceiling was that of only a third line center.

      • canuckfan

        he can play center an set up his wingers just may be what Eriksson needs as he has not scored at the rate he was in Boston which was mainly to do with Bergeron just imagine if he could reignite Eriksson one can only hope

    • argoleas

      IIRC, same was said of Horvat. We have a very good player in Gaudette who as of now projects as a strong 2-way 3C player, which will be excellent, but who may have more upside as a solid 2C player, and we will not see that possibility for years. Which is fine with me.

    • IBT

      Hopefully he doesn’t get the Daddy treatment that Virtanen has gotten where good is never good enough as he is taught to be an NHL player, unlike any other player on the team. Even when mentioned by Green he can’t get a full compliment out without a condition, like last night ” he was good, he is starting to learn how to be an NHL player”. No comments like that for any of the other players who are playing worse than he is. Lack of deployment is not making his game better. Maybe Gaudette will dodge Dad by not having been coached by him when he was young.

      • TD

        To be fair to Green, Boeser never got that treatment. The biggest recipients have been Goldobin and Virtanen who still play wildly inconsistent games. That pass to Edler last night was not good. Virtanen seems to lack some of the hockey sense and Goldobin lacks consistent effort as well as some decision making issues around risky plays.

        • Oh Boi

          If Gaudette comes as advertised, I don’t see him getting that treatment either. He is right up Coach Green’s alley in terms of the type of player he likes.

          • Ser Jaime Lannister

            Yep, we have too many soft perimeter players on this team. Cant wait to see him win those board battles and drive the net with his relentless work ethic! kids gonna fit right in 🙂

  • Dan the Fan

    So right now the protected forwards would be…
    Boeser
    Horvat
    Gaudette
    Leipsic?
    Virtanen?
    Baertschi?
    Dahlén?

    So Granlund is probably the best non-protected forward. Although a lot can change over 2+ years.

        • argoleas

          And I believe that as of now, no current Canucks player under contract will have a NMC in 2020. Which is very good. Not having to automatically protect Eriksson and Sutter is a relief! But I would not expect Seattle to take Eriksson, unless it’s for cap floor reasons. Sutter would probably be their best bet, but Van may have already traded him by then.

          • Dirty30

            Eriksson’s salary also goes down significantly by then — most has been paid upfront by the Canucks in the first two years of his contract so it could be a good deal for Seattle without added incentive.

          • TD

            Unless looking for leadership without performance, why would Seattle want and aging player without compensation. It would make more sense to take a younger player with some upside. We are going to lose someone, hopefully its a third or fourth liner.

          • Eriksson’s salary is still $4M in the last two years, that’s still a lot of dough but I guess it would also depend on how well Eriksson is. As low as his offensive stats, he’s still one of the most defensively reliable players on the team. But can he keep it up?

      • Kootenaydude

        In 2019/2020 Sutter supplies a list of 15 teams he can’t be traded to. Erikssons has the same deal in 2020/2021. So hopefully they’re both gone by the expansion draft.

    • argoleas

      Of that list, I see

      Boeser
      Horvat
      Gaudette
      Virtanen
      Baertschi

      As the sure bets. Baertschi may be replaced, but then that player (say, an E.Kane) would be a sure bet.

      Not sure about Dahlén and what the rules say about international loans, but lets assume he will also be a sure-bet. That leaves one spot, and we will see in 2 years who deserves it. Goldy? Leipsic? Someone other?

      Projecting the current roster, if Sedins return, I just do not see how Granny stays, since Eriksson and Sutter will not be moved. And that’s probably on top of moving Gagner (even if it is to the minors or a buyout).

      • argoleas

        Doing a little more digging, but seems that Dahlen would be exempt, since he will not have 3 NHL seasons under his belt. The rules seem to indicate that anyone with 2 or less NHL seasons is exempt. So that should take care of Dahlin, Joulevi, all of Utica prospects, and even Tryamkin, since he’s stuck at 2 NHL seasons.

        • TD

          The Vegas expansion draft included anyone with less then two years, but the second year didn’t end until July 1. It only included the NHL and AHL. ECHL and all the European leagues did not count.

          • argoleas

            Ok, so in fact, Utica prospects like Brisebois, Chatfield, MacEwen, etc, would be eligible by having 3 or more yrs of experience, even if its just AHL. Is that the idea?

          • TD

            If the rules stay the same anyone who played this year or before will be eligible for the expansion draft. I know there was talk about Dahlen, Lind and Gadjovich potentially playing for Utica on a tryout. Not sure if that would count, especially if they were amateur tryouts.

      • Dan the Fan

        I think Dahlen would need to be protected.

        Here’s the rules:

        “A player aged 20 or older (or who turns 20 between September 16 and December 31 of the year in which he signs his first SPC) earns a year of professional experience by playing 10 or more Professional Games under an SPC in a given League Year.”

        He was born Dec 20 1997. He signed his ELC April 21, 2017. So he turned 20 between between September 16 and December 31 of 2017, which was the year he signed his ELC.

        “Professional Games” includes the following: any NHL Games played, all minor league regular season and playoff games and any other professional games played, including but not limited to, games played in any European league or any other league outside North America, by a Player pursuant to his SPC.

        Tryamkin was exempt because he didn’t sign his contract until immediately before joining the Canucks.

        Juolevi is 19, so he’d only earn a pro season if he played 10 games:

        “A Player aged 18 or 19 earns a year of professional experience by playing 10 or more NHL games in a given NHL season”

        Pettersson is 19 and hasn’t yet signed an ELC, so he’s also exempt.

    • Puck Viking

      Trade Sven at the draft for a pick to take a dman. His spot can be filled by one of our forward prospects and we need to move actual NHL guys if we ever want to improve defense.

  • Ser Jaime Lannister

    Interesting how hell be deployed, could easily see him playing wing on the checking line too start. Either way excited for him hes going to be a great addition to this team!

  • Smegna

    My understanding is that it doesn’t count as a professional season until he plays 10 games. The 19 year old status just means they have to be NHL games where as for gaudette any professional games AHL or NHL played while signed under an NHL contract would count. Seeing that there is not 10 games remaining and he is not eligible for AHL playoffs I do not believe he would need to be protected in 2020 expansion as this year will not count. Correct me if I’m wrong, I also don’t think it will matter because players like Peterson, dahlen, Lind, juolevi will not need to be protected. We can leave markstrom and sutter unprotected and maybe they will do us a favor.

    • argoleas

      From what I have read, Gaudette will need to be protected. Just one game this year makes him a 1 yr vet, so in summer of 2020, he will be wrapping up his 3rd yr as pro, so that makes him eligible.

      Yes, all of 2017 class is protected. 2016 is a mixed bag. Joulevi is protected because of the slide. But Dahlen is not. I believe that he’s already classified as a 1-yr pro, so like Gaudette, he will have 3 yrs as pro at time of expansion.

      That also means prospects like Brisebois, Chatfield, etc, will be expansion-eligible.

      • Smegna

        He does burn a year of his ELC and it does not slide due to his age but he will still be classified as a rookie next year, so would that not mean he is still 1st year professional next year?

        • argoleas

          Yeah, it does get complicated like that, but apparently different rules apply for different ages, and the “rookie” designation is another matter. So Gaudette would be a 2nd year NHL pro next year, but the 9-game rule applies to a “rookie” designation. Perfect example of this is Boeser, who is a 2nd year pro this year, but still qualified for being RoY candidate.

          Now, looks like I may be a bit off with my Dahlen, Brisebois, Chatfield observations. Apparently, you need more than 2 years of NHL “experience” to be expansion-eligible (emphasis really on the ‘NHL’ part), and it seems that all of these players will in fact not meet that criteria. So, it’s complicated, and probably need expert opinion on this.

  • Jamie E

    I am both excited and trying to temper my enthusiasm. The NCAA is a competitive league, but we are talking about a very good year three season by a 21 year old. If this were a CHL player who had just had a very good year three season, we would all be saying, “Yeah, but overagers never amount to anything, look at Dane Fox and his 65 goals.” Not a direct comparison, but it also doesn’t mean that Gaudette is going to come in and blow the doors off at the NHL level. If he develops into an effective third line centre – as someone above mentioned like an Antione Vermette type – that would be a good outcome. If he can surprise with further upside, that’s a bonus.

  • Welcome to Van and the big show Adam.
    Good job Jim Benning for getting this done early.

    Memo to Canucks Army: This site has gone stale. I stopped reading most articles months ago. Same same over and over. There needs to be a fresh voice with new ideas.
    The comment section has become unreadable and is just plain awful, policed and patrolled by one clown with multiple handles, who enjoys commenting on and complementing his own comments. Just stupid. Look at your hits and you will see the same IP address over and over.

    CA needs to rebuild.

  • TD

    If he can become a decent two way centre, I wonder how the Canucks would look with Bo, Brock and Baer (or suitable replacement) on one line and Gaudette centering Pettersson and Dhalen (or someone) as a second line. The offence would centre around Pettersson, but Gaudette could log the hard defensive minutes as a centre if Pettersson is not suited in that role. This would be similar to the West Coast Express days where Naslund and Bertuzzi were the offensive power on the line from the wings while Morrison provided the defensive responsibility while still helping on offence. Morrison’s numbers in the NCAA were higher than Gaudette’s, but that may have to do with era. In Morrison’s final year, the top 10 scorers all had more points than Gaudette had this year (maybe more than 10 as I only found a top 10 list with 10th having 63 points). Some impressive names on the list, Martin St. Louis, Chris Drury, Todd White and Morrison all were productive NHL players. Jay Pandolfo had a good career as more of a role player. The others were less successful. Obviously no one scored more in the NCAA this year than Gaudette, so it may be an era thing.

    • argoleas

      I believe that a Dahlen-Gaudette-Pettersson could be an intriguing line for Canucks should the Sedins not return. Horvat would be the #1 line, and Sutter would be the Shutdown Line, so those could absorb the other teams top lines and D corps attention.

      • apr

        I think the future is a Gadjovich-Gaudette-Virtaanen third line. Heavy line that is not much fun to play against. I’d like to see Gaudette center Erickson and Virtaanen next year.

        • argoleas

          Erickson-Gaudette-Virtanen could work. I guess we will see! But if no Sedins, then perhaps

          Baer-Hovat-Boeser
          Archie-Sutter-Granny
          Erickson-Gaudette-Virtanen
          Leipsic-Gagner-Goldy

          • An Eriksson-Gaudette combination makes sense on paper as those two players like to do their work around the net. They could be an ideal 2-way all-purpose line that could be defensively responsible but still score dirty goals. Add Gadjovich and it could be a tough line to play against.

          • apr

            I still think the Sedins play out one more year. Cripes, they will have 50+ points.

            Gagner-Bo-Boeser
            Daniel-Henrik-Petterson
            Virtanen-Gaudette-Lepsic
            Erickson-Sutter-Reaves
            Gaunce Dowd

            I think Baer, Granlund and Goldy will be traded in the off season. I also think that Lind and McEwen will turn heads in training camp. The forward group is starting to shape out. All we need is a Dahlin, Bovquist, or Hughes in the system.

  • Dan the Fan

    I think the article is wrong on the expansion point. He burns a year of his contract by appearing in just one game. But he only earns a professional season if he plays 10 or more pro games this year. Check section 10.2 of the CBA.

    “For the purposes of this Section 10.2(a), a Player aged 18 or 19 earns a
    year of professional experience by playing ten (10) or more NHL Games
    in a given NHL Season, and a Player aged 20 or older (or who turns 20
    between September 16 and December 31 of the year in which he signs his
    first SPC) earns a year of professional experience by playing ten (10) or
    more Professional Games under an SPC in a given League Year. ”

    Gaudette is 21 so he’d need 10 games in any pro league. If he plays in an NHL game, he can’t go to Utica for the playoffs. The Canucks have played 76 games, so there’s no way for him to get 10 games this year.

    • Smegna

      Thanks for posting this, i knew i read this somewhere. If this is correct that would be great news because i believe it applies to Dahlen as well, he signed his contract when he was 19 and started in sweden this year as a 19 year old so hopefully his first pro year wont kick in until next year. Like most people have posted it most likely wont matter because chances are we wont have 7 forwards that truly need protecting but definitely cant hurt.

      • Dan the Fan

        Dahlen signed his contract when he was 19, but he falls under the 20+ rules because he turned 20 at the end of the year that he signed it. You can see at Capfriendly that his ELC signing age is listed as 20. So he falls under the rules were any pro league counts, even Europe. So he would have to be protected.

        Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to assume that we’d lose a near-worthless player at the draft. We don’t know how these guys are going to develop and we don’t know who else we’ll pick up over the next 2+ years.

        • Smegna

          Ya thats a very good point, just another reason why its important to save as many players as possible from the draft. We focus on our young players not having to be protected but i would assume they pick up at least 1 player in the next two years that require protection.

  • Dirk22

    For all those saying it’s not a big deal they haven’t accumulated draft picks over Benning’s tenure, remember that Gaudette is the result of trading Raphael Diaz for a 5th rounder (a Gillis trade). Canucks had two picks in the 5th round of 2015. Took Neill at 144 and Gaudette at 149.

    It’s almost like getting more picks gives you a better chance of getting some decent prospects although I’m sure many would be shaking their heads over losing Diaz’s leadership or something of that nature.

    • truthseeker

      You can say that having more picks gives you “more chances at getting decent prospects”, but using the success of one single player to judge a pick in the late round is totally illogical.

      It’s a testimonial. Snake oil that because one person used it and their cancer went away means it has value. A player around pick 149 has about a 13% chance of ever playing 100 NHL games. They have a 2.5% chance of ever being a top six player. Those are the numbers that matter.

      You are cherry picking to suit your argument.

      • Dirk22

        Cherry picking? This is an article about Gaudette. He is a Canuck resulting from the selling of an expendable veteran for a late rounder – something we know you are strictly opposed to. Yes, it’s a very low percentage truthseeker. That’s the reason you would want a lot of kicks at the can because you might just get a difference maker. Whether Gaudette is that remains to be seen but at least the opportunity is there.

        • Super Pest

          I get you, Dirk22. What some people also fail to grasp is that the lottery is for the first round only. Tanking may not get you the first overall, but you’ll be picking first in each subsequent round: 32nd pick is better than 37th or 38th. Just sayin’.

        • truthseeker

          Oh yeah Dirk….I’m “strictly opposed” to trading vets…lol. Do you think it makes your argument more persuasive when you straight out lie? Or do you just think saying stupid sh….like that makes you look clever?

          So basically give up any veteran for a pick in any round? Is that what your saying?

          You don’t think the quality of the player should be weighed against the value of any particular pick?

          Just by your own example Diaz was an NHL player with 200 games under his belt. Once again…a fifth rounder has only a 13% chance of ever playing even half that. So you’re saying it’s always the right choice to trade a functional NHL vet for an 87% failure rate pick?

          You are cherry picking. And you are engaging in very black and white thinking. Sometimes a what a team needs is not a long shot “kick at the can” but a decent veteran presence to fill a role. Sometimes THAT has more value. Your failure to recognize that in your analysis is what makes your argument unsound.

          • Dirk22

            Could have sworn you didn’t want a 34 year old, UFA to be traded for anything less than a 2nd? Am I wrong? Not for a team trying to compete for anything mind you – for a ‘rebuilding’ team that is going to finish in the bottom 3 of the league for the third year in a row. As if a player like Thomas Vanek is not available every year in FA if you really need a “veteran presence to fill a role.”

            “So basically give up any veteran for a pick in any round? Is that what your saying?” – Do you do this purposefully? Accuse me of lying and then say something like this.

            Cherry picking? This just in from truthseeker: Not every draft pick turns out. Insightful stuff.

          • truthseeker

            So you turn that into “I’m opposed to trading vets”? lol. That’s some great logic dirk. It really follows. No wonder your arguments are so easy to destroy if that’s the kind of thing you think makes sense.

            I’m asking you a question. And now you’re avoiding it. It’s a completely valid question given the content of your posts.

            Yep. Cherry picking. And if you don’t even have the self awareness to see that’s what your doing, well…I don’t even know what to say. That’s a whole new level of ignorance.

    • Sure, no one is opposed to trading players for draft picks…when you can afford to trade players. When Diaz was traded, we had Edler, Tanev, Bieksa, Hamhuis and Garrison as our core. Now we have guys that we desperately need, have a NTC that he’ll use or are totally worthless.

    • TheRealPB

      Of course to be perfectly accurate, it was more like they got the pick that became Gaudette for Dale Weise since they traded him for Diaz who in turn only lasted six games.

      And I’m not sure how Gaudette’s success really tells the story you want it to. Yeah, that pick worked out but it really is a lottery win. Literally 3 other players have made the NHL in that round (for a handful of games) and less than 25% of all players drafted that year (most of them in the first round after McDavid and Eichel). Having more picks might be good or we could have picked Radovan Bondra. Or Carl Neill…

  • Dan the Fan

    Also, Middlestat is 19 but his ELC signing age is 20 because he turns 20 at the end of this year. Check Capfriendly. So he’s in the same 20+ catagory as Gaudette.

  • LTFan

    Lots of hype. Probably better to let him play a couple of games and see what he can do. He probably won’t be Brock Boeser so everyone should not get their expectations too high. As far as expansion is concerned, there will be lots of hockey played before that happens. Let’s get Gaudette on the ice and let him play a shift or two.

    • Super Pest

      Yes. Like draft picks, the more the better. Gaudette might not work out (my money’s on yes, btw). Worry about expansion when it gets here; let’s hope we do have players to worry about. ??