Editorials

Islanders: Realistic Expectations For JG Pageau

By Matt O'Leary
Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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At the deadline, the New York Islanders traded for and then extended JG Pageau. What can they expect from him through the remainder of his deal?

It was abundantly clear to Lou Lamoriello that the New York Islanders needed offensive help. He decided to give up a first and second-round pick for JG Pageau on a career season and then extended him through 2025-2026.

That’s six and a half years of Pageau, who will likely fill the third line center role for the foreseeable future. A $5 million cap hit may seem high for a third-line player but when you look at what he can do for your team it is much more palatable.

In 67 games, Pageau has 42 points (26 goals, 16 assists) which is a pace of 51 points over a full season. Now, to expect JG to replicate this season through the remainder of his time with the Islanders would be unfair.

You have to keep in mind, most of his production came when he was on the top line in Ottawa getting 19 minutes a night. You’re more likely to see someone around the 40 point mark plus or minus a couple of points.

If you’re getting 35-45 points from your third-line center, you’re in good shape. That seems right in the wheelhouse for Pageau, depending on who he is playing with.

If he’s playing with Michael Dal Colle and Leo Komarov asking him to drag those two along with him and put up 40 points is going to be a tough ask. On the contrary, if you give him someone like Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey, or Kieffer Bellows you are more likely to see him produce offensively.

He’s not someone who is going to elevate talent around him, but he can be productive if he’s put next to guys with a marginal offensive skillset.

Over the course of his career, he has 184 points in 435 games, which if you pace that out over a 82 game season gives you 35 points. The pricepoint for that kind of production, in a vacuum, looks like a lot, but he is someone who does so much for a hockey club.

JG can play on the penalty kill as a steady defensive forward while also providing a scoring threat, he has 13 career short-handed goals. He’s spent some time on the power play with the Isles as well, with five power-play goals on the season both with New York and Ottawa.

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Nobody on the Islanders has more than four power-play goals this season. Pageau is basically a higher ceiling version of what Casey Cizikas gives you, with less physicality. Down the middle, the Islanders look to be in fantastic shape long-term with Barzal, Nelson, Pageau, and Cizikas.

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