After acquiring him at the trade deadline last year, we’ll get to see what JG Pageau can do for the Islanders in a full season in New York.
In seven games with the Islanders before the shutdown, Pageau scored two goals playing 18 minutes a night. Where his presence was felt was the playoffs for New York.
He was a goal-scoring machine, netting eight goals in 22 games. To call him clutch might be an understatement. Pageau is perfect for the big moment and in 57 career playoff games, he has 20 goals to his name.
Can Pageau replicate his career year of 26 goals and 42 points in 2021? Or are we due for a regression?
To expect Pageau to net 26 goals again is a bit on the extreme side. He had an outlier 17.2 shooting percentage this past season, but the Islanders didn’t necessarily bring him in here to be a 25+ goal scorer.
No, what makes Pageau one of the best third line centers in the sport is his versatility. Over his career, he averages a .43 points per game pace (a 35 point pace). What he gives you is phenomenal play in the faceoff dot for starters.
His career faceoff percentage is 52.2 and he hasn’t been below 50 percent since his age 22 season. If you need a big faceoff win, Pageau is your guy. Also, JG can be utilized on both the penalty kill and power play.
His ability to be put in all different kinds of situations and succeed is what makes him a special kind of player. So what do we think for 2021?
Well, playing on the third line his two wing spots are up in the air right now. In a 56 game season, I’ll say Pageau finishes with 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists). Over a full season that’s 40 points (18 goals, 22 assists).
With his play in the defensive zone, and on special teams, if Pageau is giving you 40 points that’s a home run of a season. There’s a chance he’ll have to take a youngster like Oliver Wahlstrom, Kieffer Bellows, or Otto Koivula under his wing on his line this year but he should be the perfect guy to do it.
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Some will say the Islanders overpaid in the trade and the extension but come playoff time I think we’ll gladly take that $5 million cap hit for everything he does on this team.