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Adam Gaudette was a power play superstar over the course of his NCAA career. Over his final two seasons with Northeastern University, Gaudette scored 27 of Gaudette’s 56 goals were scored on the power play. Gaudette was consistently the trigger man on the left side of the power play, and made consistent use of his stellar one-timer, which accounted for a large portion of his production on the man advantage. He was also very effective at digging pucks out of the corners and using his positional fluidity to insure that Northeastern’s first unit never stagnated, and remained unpredictable.

Adam Gaudette didn’t make the Canucks roster out of the preseason, despite assertions that he should have from many corners of the market, and at the moment, he’s doing everything he can to prove those voices correct. Due to the injuries to Jay Beagle and Brandon Sutter, Gaudette’s role has increased, and he has found a spot on the second power play unit and has been very effective in that role.

Gaudette is currently playing the left side on the Canucks power play, a spot where he thrives. So far, he’s been on the ice for 25 minutes at 5-on-4.  Over the course of those 25 minutes, he has been on the ice for seven goals. Though it is a small sample size, the Canucks are seeing a lot of success with Gaudette on the second unit. For comparison, the second unit had failed to score a single goal before Gaudette was placed there.

Here is an example of the positional fluidity I mentioned earlier. Though Gaudette is primarily used on the left side of the power play, he finds himself in an attacking position on the ice by recognizing when a play is beginning to develop.

His quick release is one of the main reasons that he won the Hobey Baker award. Canucks fans can relate to screaming “SHOOOOOOT” at the top of their lungs when watching the power play at times. Gaudette has quickly moved up the ranks in the powerplay shots department. Gaudette may only have racked up 25 minutes of power play time so far, but he is already sixth among Canucks players in power play shots.

Jay Beagle and Brandon Sutter will be returning to the lineup sooner than later, but this time it might not result in Gaudette being sent to Utica. Gaudette’s success on the man advantage has taken the second unit from a wasteland to a genuine scoring threat, making him invaluable in the process. As the season goes on, I fully expect the team to continue to lean on him on the PP. Travis Green has made questionable decisions in the past, and will likely make questionable decisions in the future too, but this one seems like a slam dunk.

Gaudette has been forechecking well and brings more energy than Beagle and Sutter combined in their Canucks careers. Gaudette has been able to control the goal share while on the ice, and though his minutes will fade when the Canucks get healthier, the team can lean on the celebration king for more power play goals as this team moves forward.

Taking Gaudette out of the lineup (and off the power play) would be a huge mistake right now, even if it’s to accommodate the return of Jay Beagle or Brandon Sutter. For now, he’s proven he belongs in the lineup, even if it means having to swap out somebody else.