Islanders Jean-Gabriel Pageau proving doubters wrong
The package to acquired Jean-Gabriel Pageau from the Ottawa Senators was too pricy for some. But the New York Islanders knew he was worth it. And so far the Isles were right.
No one thought that Jean-Gabriel Pageau could keep pace with his career year statistically after getting traded to the New York Islanders. The Islanders overpaid for an asset that wouldn’t be able to deliver on what he was doing in Ottawa it was said.
And I get it. Pageau was having a career year with Ottawa while playing top-line minutes and enjoying a 17.8 shooting percentage. It’s hard to think he’s going to continue to light it up with the Islanders.
Except he is. In only his second game with the Islanders he’s already put up two goals.
Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop.
Technically, he hasn’t even played two games. He missed 17 minutes of his first game after stepping up on Jacob Trouba who had laid out Michael Dal Colle with a big hit. And, at the time of writing, Pageau’s second game isn’t yet over but already has a goal.
A power-play goal none-the-less.
I just want to let this sink in for a second. This is part of the grade The Athletic (subscription required) gave to the Islanders at the trade deadline:
"The Athletic (Craig Custance) Said an NHL scout of the Pageau deal: “I give him credit for what he’s done. I don’t know if he’s going to repeat that kind of performance. The price tag, to me, is high.” Grade: C-"
We already know what Pageau was going to bring to this team in terms of his defense and his ability to play a 200-foot game. We also knew he could add some depth offense. But at the moment he’s one of the three best forwards on the team since he joined.
He’s doing a bit of everything from offense, defense, killing penalties, winning important face-offs, and even profiting production on the power play. Look at where Pageau was when he scored that goal. He was sandwiched between all four Blues penalty killers in the slot and still got the shot off.
There hasn’t been a single New York Islanders forward that occupied that position on the Islanders power play all season.
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Lou Lamoriello knew exactly what he was doing at the trade deadline. And if this continues the price for Jean-Gabriel Pageau will look like a fair deal by the end of the season.