Vancouver Canucks' Adam Gaudette has lots to prove with new one-year contract

Vancouver Canucks centre Adam Gaudette knows there's a certain amount of risk with his new one-year contract, but says the wager is nothing new.

"I think a guy like me, every year’s kind of a bet-on-himself year," he said on a video call Tuesday. "I’ve always had to work for everything I’ve got and that’s never going to change throughout my career. I’ve got to make sure I’m at the top of my game every year even to just get ice time."

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Gaudette cemented his role in Vancouver's lineup last season, registering 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) in 59 games. He also appeared in 10 playoff games for Vancouver but did not put up any points.

The 24-year-old native of Braintree, Mass., signed a one-year, US$950,000 deal with the Canucks on Monday.

A fifth-round Canucks pick in the 2015 draft, Gaudette said the length of the contract will be in the back of his mind next season.

"But it’s also about getting better every day. I’m not just going to get into a big contract from the first game. It’s going to take the whole year. So that’s what I’m focused on," Gaudette said. "And we’re focused on getting to the playoffs again and winning a Stanley Cup. And that's something that will probably mean more than a contract this year."

Part of getting better is getting bigger and stronger, said the the six-foot-one Gaudette, who was listed at 170 pounds heading into last season. He's currently living in his parents' basement in Braintree with his wife, Micaela, and making good use of the gym and rink down the street.

Adding some bulk will help with speed and the defensive game, Gaudette said.

When coach Travis Green shortens the bench at the end of a tight game, the former Northeastern University star wants to be one of the players who's still grinding on the ice.

"I want to be relied on more and I’m going to have to prove that and prove myself," he said. "But I think that’s something that I’ve had to do every year and something that I embrace and I adjust to pretty well. And I’m looking forward to the challenge."

Away from hockey, Gaudette has taken up an new hobby this off-season — video-game streaming.

"I’ve been having a ton of fun with it. … I built my own computer with my wife. Well, she did most of it," he said.

In order to keep things civil in the stream chats, Gaudette has set out some rules — including the prohibition of "talking trash" about other NHL players or teams — and he has moderators who kick out anyone who breaks them.

"It’s just something that I found keeps me busy," he said. "It’s a lot of fun. I think it’s good to give the fans some inside intel into what our lives are like outside of hockey and stuff."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.

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