Columbus Blue Jackets Player Grades: Johnny Gaudreau

Blue Jackets Johnny Gaudreau, Boone Jenner, and Erik Gudbranson
Hector Urica/InsideTheRink

The season is nearing its end and it’s time to look back and see how well some players have done this year (or how bad). This will be a series where I grade players from the Columbus Blue Jackets. It’s been a rough year for them, but some players have had great individual success. The criteria is statistical, but there is some opinion involved when looking at the role the player is filling. For instance, I’m not going to judge Johnny Gaudreau harshly for having two hits; that’s not his role. It’s the same the other way as well; I don’t expect defensemen to have a 20-goal season. These statistics are accurate at the time of writing this article; the Jackets have two games to play yet. This is the criteria for the grades:

  • Points rank for the team
  • Points rank for the NHL
  • Points-per-game average
  • Games played
  • Blocked shots
  • Number of hits
  • Shot Attempts
  • Shooting percentage
  • How they compare to last season

Johnny Gaudreau

Johnny is the highest-ranked player in points on the Blue Jackets and is second in the number of games played with 78. Of his 59 points, 11 are goals, and 48 are assists, and he has a 0.76 point-per-game average. He ranks 86th in points out of the whole NHL. He has 22 blocks and two hits for this year. He made 7.1% of his 155 shots.

Last year, he had 74 points (21 goals and 53 assists) and 80 games played with an average of 0.93 points, 18 blocks, and five hits.

Grade: B+

Johnny Gaudreau’s grade could have been higher if a few more things had gone his way. He is the team leader in points and assists, but the Blue Jackets are ranked 29th in the league. Gaudreau’s point total is down from previous years and the team has difficulty producing points together. At times, he can change a game’s outcome by himself, but it takes a team effort to win games regularly. It’s possible his position as points leader of the team could stay the same for next season, and if the Blue Jackets can find ways to win more games, his total could get better. Some things that could have affected team performance this year are having a first-year coach, inconsistent linemates, and a lot of injuries. On a personal level, though, Johnny could have gotten an A if he scored a few more goals. Fourty-eight assists are great for the team, but eleven goals in a season is the fewest he’s ever had.

Looking back, Gaudreau’s season started slower than what’s usual for him, with only getting eight points in 20 games. He seemed to hit his stride in December when he achieved a five-game point streak. In his last 20 games, he has scored 17 points. His slow start could have been for several reasons, as mentioned earlier, his linemates were constantly changing. Whether it was due to injury, illness, or performance, it seemed like there was a new first-line every week. This is only his second season with the Blue Jackets, and getting used to a team takes time, especially when the roster is different for each game. With all the difficulties, it seems as though he’s finally finding something that works for the last leg of this season. Maybe that something could carry on to next season.

219. And I'm Laura! CBJectively Speaking

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Lance Schrock

Credentialed Writer covering the Columbus Blue Jackets. Host of the BrewJackets Podcast.

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