Review of the 2020-21 season: Frédérick Gaudreau
Player: Frédéric Gaudreau
Born: May 1, 1993 (28)
Weight: 180 pounds.
Place of birth: Bromont, Quebec, Canada
Shooting : Right
Rough draft: Not written
Statistics 2020-21: 19 GP, 2 G, 8 A, 10 P
Contract status: Signature of a one-year two-way contract with a ceiling of $ 700,000 reached in October 2020; will be a UFA this summer.
During the six-game series with the New York Islanders, Gaudreau had one goal and two assists for three points.
A small sample size here while browsing the WAR array. Gaudreau has been productive at both ends of the ice, although his Competitive Quality and Teammate Quality show an below average player.
His career path shows a player who has been a stable and harmless long distance player. And let’s pay tribute to Gaudreau for his return to the league after an absence during his season at the age of 26.
Simply put, as these charts highlight, Gaudreau was a positive player when analyzing his shots and goals against. It was mostly deployed in low leverage, 5v5 situations typical of your mid-six forwards.
Gaudreau’s even-matched offensive numbers underscore how lucky he has been, especially in net. The redder the better, as the graph says. Defensively, it’s a bit of everything. Not too great, not too bad either.
History of the season
The story of Freddy Gaudreau’s season begins quite late in the 2021 campaign. His first game played in black and gold came on March 18 in a 3-2 loss to Le Mans. New Jersey Devils.
The 28-year-old was propelled into the Penguins roster after injuries (surprise, surprise) ravaged the Pittsburgh team. Well, as the saying goes in sports, the downfall of one player is another player’s opportunity. And my boy, Gaudreau took advantage of his.
Having not played in the NHL since the 2018-19 season, it was assumed that Gaudreau would come and just be a body on the fourth line and on the penalty kill.
After being held scoreless in his first three games with the Penguins, he found the scoresheet in four of his next five games from March 24 to April 1.
At the end of the season, Gaudreau had played so well that Mike Sullivan had to find a place in the roster for the Quebecer. Finishing with 10 points in 19 regular season games was something I’m not even sure Gaudreau himself expected to accomplish.
Regular Season 5v5 Advanced Stats
data via Natural Stat Trick. The standings are on the team’s 16 forwards who qualified by playing a minimum of 150 minutes.
Corsi For%: 52.86 (3rd)
Goals for%: 70.59 (2nd)
xGF%: 9.04 (15th)
% Chance to Score: 57.30 (2nd)
% Chance To Score High Danger: 53.42 (3rd)
% 5v5 ice shooting: 10.62 (5th)
% savings on ice: 94.51 (2nd)
Objectives / 60: 0.5
Assistance / 60: 1.9
Points / 60: 2.4
– Take a look at those numbers and you’d be thinking, “Wow, this guy is an absolute stallion!” “
But it’s important to note that, of all the qualifiers on this list, Gaudreau finished 15th in TOI terms with just 203: 30. For reference, Jake Guentzel led this category with almost 900 minutes of ice time.
Gaudreau is a quality depth forward, but those stats are most certainly skewed due to his relatively small sample size compared to other players in the Penguins roster.
Gaudreau’s first goal with the Penguins is scored thanks to a superb saucer pass from another fourth row player, Sam Lafferty. The passing, the release and the lifting of the puck were a magnificent sight to see.
Former Penguins prospect Daniel Sprong was just out of reach for Jason Zucker’s pass to Gaudreau that led to the goal. Thanks to Gaudreau for taking that pass behind him, eliminating Sprong and beating Vitek Vanecek.
And finally, Gaudreau’s lone 2021 playoff goal saw his tenacity rewarded after his initial shot was blocked. He raises the puck again to beat Ilya Sorokin.
The striker entered and took the opportunity. He kept his momentum going until the end of the season. Yes, that may be another example of the classic ‘flash in the pan’ player, but Gaudreau’s contributions to the home stretch cannot be ignored when reflecting on the second half of the 2021 season.
What does Freddy G have in store for 2021-22? He has only 103 career regular-season games under his belt and was completely absent from the NHL in 2019-20. He hasn’t played more than 55 games in a single season. 10 of his 18 career points have come with Pittsburgh this year. On the other hand, however, Gaudreau has four goals and six points in 14 career playoff games.
Throw it all together and you might think that the negatives outweigh the positives. In short spells he appeared to be a competent depth player in the NHL, but could he maintain that kind of play for a full 82-game season? That’s the million dollar question.
We should hope for more of the same, but perhaps it is too much to hope. Can he continue to score at this rate? Unlikely, given his 82-game PPG would have been 43.1 points in a normal 2021 season, and he’s nowhere near that at NHL level.
Ideally, Gaudreau turns some of these negatives and small samples into positives. But he kind of became a conundrum as we approached next season because, frankly, no one knew he would produce as well as he did.
Question to ponder
Did Gaudreau’s solid play earn him a contract extension until 2021-2022? It’s possible, especially since Teddy Blueger could be picked as the Seattle Kraken’s expansion player, which would leave the Penguins with Crosby, Malkin, Carter, and Gaudreau in the middle when everyone is healthy.
Or will Gaudreau find himself in the same role that has defined his professional career so far: an above-par AHL forward whose offensive numbers just haven’t translated to the top level of the game. professional hockey?