25-Year-Old Center – Ottawa Senators
Jean-Gabriel Pageau Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $9.1 million contract with the Senators in July of 2017.
Pageau recorded an assist and won eight of eleven faceoffs during Saturday's 4-3 triumph over the Avalanche.
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Jean-Gabriel Pageau: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
To put it in simple terms, Pageau exploded in the 2015-16 season. Improvement across the board is one thing, but the unheralded pivot set career highs in every category, including establishing himself as a major threat when his team was a man down (seven shorthanded goals). The 2011 fourth-round pick appeared in all 82 contests, registering 19 tallies, 24 assists, a plus-17 rating (best on the roster) and 133 shots on goal. Ordinarily, that would make him a big-time fantasy sleeper entering this year, but Pageauís stuck on the third line thanks to the arrival of veteran Derick Brassard and the expected healthy return of Kyle Turris (ankle). However, be ready to snatch the 23-year-old off the waiver wire if he finds his way into the top six.
Pageau was a key member of the Senators' second-half surge into the postseason, as he finished his 2014-15 campaign with 10 goals and nine assists in 50 games. A leg injury in the first round of the playoffs resulted in him finishing the season off the ice, but heís expected to be back at full health for the team's training camp this fall. With a new two-year contract in tow, Pageau is set to see full-time action in Ottawa for the first time in his career, likely serving as the Senators' third-line center. It wouldn't be a surprise if he quietly challenged for a 35-to-40-point season.
Pageau was expected to make a big jump last season after an impressive playoff performance in 2013, but largely disappointed. The center suited up for 28 games in 2013-14, but was only able to muster two goals and 12 PIM over that span. He's still just 21-years-old, but with the Senators in a rebuilding mindset after trading Jason Spezza, 2014-15 could be Pageau's last opportunity to prove his worth to the franchise. He has great speed, and showed the ability to score with six points in 10 games in the playoffs two years ago, so he might be a decent super-sleeper pick in deeper leagues.
Pageau came up for the playoffs at the ripe old age of 20 and proceeded to post impressive numbers with four goals and two assists in 10 playoff games. He'll get a shot to be an every day player in Ottawa to start the year and his great speed could very well keep him in the big league. He's a high risk pick, but there's definitely potential to be found here.