Vancouver Canucks coach Travis Green doesn’t think Adam Gaudette has even come close to reaching his potential as an NHL center. Gaudette, a Braintree native who will skate in his 105th NHL game Tuesday with the Canucks, in town to face the Bruins, knows that he hasn’t.
Gaudette has eight goals and 15 assists through 43 games this season, averaging 12:30 minutes a game.
“It’s definitely a difference between game one and game 100,” Gaudette said Tuesday after hitting the ice he grew up dreaming of playing on for morning skate. “I’ve learned a lot from the older guys in here, the easiest ways to adjust to the travel and the time changes and stuff like that. You’re still learning every day and trying to take it all in.”
Tuesday is the second night in a row that Gaudette will be at TD Garden, though he wasn’t skating Monday. With a day off, he was able to watch his former teammates advance to the Beanpot championship game as Northeastern knocked off Harvard, 3-1. It was a special moment for Gaudette, who grew up attending tournament games before leading Northeastern to its first championship in 30 years in 2018. Even as he returns home as a pro, the Beanpot win remains his favorite moment on TD Garden ice.
“It was something special to me and to the team,” Gaudette said. “It’s something I’ll remember forever.”
— NESN (@NESN) February 4, 2020
Speaking of his team, Gaudette isn’t the only Northeastern star in the pros. Cayden Primeau is 1-1 in net for Montreal and was recalled from the AHL Monday. Zach Aston-Reese has five goals and seven assists through 52 games for Pittsburgh. Dylan Sikura, who skated alongside Gaudette and Nolan Stevens on what was one of the top lines in the country in 2017-18, is a two-way player for Chicago and scored his first NHL goal this season.
“We stay in touch a bit, especially when we’re playing each other,” Gaudette said. “We’ll talk to each other after the game and stuff. It’s great to see, and it just shows how good of a program [Northeastern coaches Jerry Keefe and Jim Madigan] have put on. They’ve really developed players to take the jump to the next level.”
Tuesday’s game marks the second time Gaudette has traveled to play his hometown team – he played 14:59 minutes in an 8-5 win for Vancouver on Nov. 8, 2018. He said his mother, Tara, told him she requested 120 passes for family and friends to attend Tuesday’s game.
“They’re a good team,” Gaudette said. “We’re going to have to be on top of our game. We’ve been playing well as of late, and we’re just going to stick to what we’ve been doing and we’ll be alright.
“It’s a playoff-style hockey game, and we want to be in the playoffs right with these guys. We want to show we can compete right with them.”