The New York Islanders trading for and then extending JG Pageau was one of the best things that Lou Lamoriello could do. He has been everything you’d possibly want and more during his time here on the Island.
In his first full year with the team, Pageau played in 54 games for the Islanders putting up 28 points (18 goals, 18 assists). If that were to be paced out over an 82 game season, you’re looking at 43 point season from your third-line center.
I mean the guy can do it all. He produced points and goals like the best third-line centers in the sport, he can play on the power play or the penalty kill and he’s a faceoff, God. He finished the regular season with a 56.7 FO%.
He had this productive of a season with an ever-changing rotating cast of linemates. Oliver Wahlstrom, Leo Komarov, Michael Dal Colle, Travis Zajac, Ross Johnston, and Kyle Palmieri to name a few spent time on the third line with Pager. That didn’t faze him.
As always, Pageau did his best work in the playoffs. He finished with 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in 19 games but that doesn’t even tell the full story. He had 13 points through the first two series.
Against Tampa, Pageau didn’t register a single point. We would later find out he was playing through an injury. After the season he had hand surgery, but don’t worry he still won 55% of his faceoffs in the series with a broken hand.
Now, as he heads into 2021-2022, there’s a good chance that he will be playing with higher upside linemates.
JG Pageau expectations for 2021-2022
A majority of people assume that Zach Parise and Oliver Wahlstrom will be flanking Pageau on the third line. Even if it’s not Wahlstrom, the other option of Kyle Palmieri are still massive upgrades to what he saw for most of last year.
Playing with consistent linemates, and consistent linemates who can score will be a match made in heaven for Pageau.
I expect JG Pageau to have a slight uptick in points. 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists) while playing roughly 16:45 of ice time per night seems about right. He will likely still see time on both the power play and penalty kill but the days of moving him to the wing in a pinch seems over.
When the regular season closes and if the Islanders make the playoffs again, that’s when we’ll see the best version of Pageau.