Will Freddy Gaudreau Stay on the Second Line?

Creator: Gary A. Vasquez | Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Freddy Gaudreau, 30, is a player that doesn’t attract much attention during a regular game. Playing alongside speedy Matt Boldy, Gaudreau is more than happy to hang back and play a more defensive game, easily overshadowed by Boldy’s dynamic play. But that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. Gaudreau is a jack-of-all-trades player who continues to make an impact at both ends of the ice.

Last Season

Gaudreau played all 82 games last season, coming away with 19 goals and 19 assists for 38 points. As a player who is more of a playmaker than a shooter, Gaudreau’s 19 goals set a career-high record. Serving as an anchor for the second line, Gaudreau continues to be a steady, reliable player.

Strengths

Freddy Gaudreau is a dependable center who manages to keep his faceoff percentage right around 50%. He has become invaluable on the penalty kill, putting his defensively-minded play to good use. One of his most surprising strengths is that he’s got the best hands on the team. Nicknamed “Phone Booth Freddy” for his ability to stickhandle in a small space, he’s also patient enough to wait out most goalies, scoring in the shootout 61.5% of the time.

Weaknesses

Gaudreau’s biggest weakness seems to be that even when he’s playing his best hockey, it isn’t noticeable. There are plenty of complaints about Gaudreau, but frankly, he falls back and picks up the defensive side while his linemate Boldy does the more flashy work upfront. It’s obvious that the team understands how vital he is. Gaudreau signed a five-year, $10.5 million contract with the Wild on April 5, 2023.

Next Season

If Freddy Gaudreau stays on a line with Matt Boldy and Marcus Johansson, expect him to keep putting up points. Even if he doesn’t get an assist on some plays, he plays an integral part in that line’s chemistry. His second-line spot is not a guarantee, however, and Dean Evason may choose to juggle up the lines at center. Gaudreau will also keep his position as the go-to shootout guy, maybe even raising his shootout percentage.

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