Adam Gaudette was moved by the Vancouver Canucks in a trade to the Chicago Blackhawks today. In return the Canucks receive Matthew Highmore.
Sounds like Matthew Highmore is going from CHI to VAN as part of this deal. https://t.co/PzCipfbFhv
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 12, 2021
Adam Gaudette Traded
In a slightly surprising move, the Vancouver Canucks traded one of their younger forwards today. The 24-year old Adam Gaudette isn’t having as good a season as last year’s breakthrough, with just four goals and seven points in 33 games so far. But he was one of the few bottom-six players who posed an offensive threat for the team. He was asked to focus on taking greater defensive responsibility in hopes he could be a regular centre. The results have been mixed as best, with little improvement to his Corsi while getting fewer points.
Even so, Gaudette was a tempting target. His sub-$1 million contract ends this season, and he is a restricted free agent without arbitration rights. He is a skilled player, and one of the most exuberant when he scores. If he can regain his scoring touch with his new team – likely back on the wing – the *insertteamnamehere* will be happy with their deal. They’re gambling *insertreturnhere* on it.
Highmore, 25, is another young forward who has played a fourth-line role for the Blackhawks this season. He has just two assists in 24 games for the Hawks this season. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of the Saint John Ice Dogs of the QMJHL, Highmore has four goals and six assists for 10 points in 73 career NHL games. He is signed through the end of next season at a $725,000 cap hit.
What This Means for the Future
Clearly, the experiment of keeping Gaudette in the middle of the ice didn’t work for the Canucks. The team needs many things, and one of those is solid, all-around players in their bottom-nine. What Gaudette provides is offensive skills to be in the upper half, but not enough to force his way onto the top line. And given Bo Horvat‘s use, he wasn’t going to survive the second line, either. Waiver wire pickup Travis Boyd likely sealed his fate, though what happens next season will be interesting. Marc Michaelis, Jayce Hawryluk, and Zack MacEwen can all play centre and are under team control for 2021-22. Whether they will trust in internal growth or look for more help there will be a big question during their off-season.
VANCOUVER, BC – MARCH 24: Vancouver Canucks Center Adam Gaudette (96) stretches before playing the Winnipeg Jets during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on March 24, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)