Since coming to the New York Islanders, JG Pageau is everything Lou Lamoriello was hoping for and more. In 61 regular-season games with New York, he has 30 points and 16 goals to his name but his real magic comes in the playoffs.
Over the last two seasons, in 41 games, he has an impressive 11 goals and 24 points. That’s a .27 goals per game pace which is a very solid number for a third-line center.
Pageau just plays the game the right way. He’s a good two-way center, who can hold his own defensively, on the penalty kill, and even assist on the power play. I don’t think it’s out of line to say he is one of if not the best third-line centers in the sport because of his versatility.
Well, due to his efforts in the 2021 season, Pageau was awarded the Bob Nystrom Award.
The award, which was invented in 1991, was meant to recognize an Islander player that exemplifies leadership, hustle, and dedication. When looking at the Islanders roster, I’m not sure there’s a more deserving player out there that fits the description.
Last year, Matt Martin won the award followed by back-to-back Casey Cizikas victories. The award isn’t necessarily for the best player on the team, as exemplified by Pageau and the past winners and that’s not a knock on any of them.
Nystrom wasn’t the best player on those Islander teams. But, he played the game hard, was extremely clutch, and very important to what the team did night in and night out.
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Luckily, Pager is signed through the 2026 season. I can say with absolute confidence that it’s a phenomenal thing that Pageau will be here for the foreseeable future. Expect more performances like this past season, and maybe a few more Nystrom Award’s under his belt.