For Adam Gaudette, the 2017-18 season will always be one to remember.
The only 60-point scorer in Division I, he helped Northeastern capture the Beanpot championship for the first time in 30 years, and was also the Hockey East player of the year.
He led the Huskies to the national tournament for the second time in three years, after which he signed a professional contract with the Vancouver Canucks.
And at Frozen Four weekend, a capstone – the first-ever Hobey Baker Award winner in his program’s history.
With that in mind, there’s no doubt that Adam Gaudette is also the USCHO player of the year.
“We got kids who are hungry kids like Adam,” Northeastern coach Jim Madigan said. “We were fortunate to have him for three years. He was a little under the radar and worked on his game. When you get kids like Adam, you’re going to have a chance to win championships.”
Gaudette became an instant splash for the Huskies after scoring 30 points in a freshman year where the team captured its first Hockey East title in 28 years with a perfect 6-0 record. The following season, despite a slow start and eighth place finish for the team, he recorded a 52-point season, one of three players to hit the mark for a team without a 50-point scorer in the 21st century. It led to this season’s 60-point outburst, the second straight year a Northeastern skater hit the mark.
“Coach Madigan always says to play your game, and the points will come,” Gaudette said. “I knew I was bound to get a point playing with the two guys that I played with, and I think having my mindset to take care of the (defensive zone) helped make the points come.
“It started with the guys who graduated who started to pull this program from down under. We followed their lead and took it from there. It’s something else to see the program come out like this.”
A fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Gaudette signed with Vancouver following Northeastern’s NCAA tournament exit. He played five games with the Canucks, with his first shift coming two minutes into his first game against the Edmonton Oilers. In each game, he played no fewer than 10 minutes while spending limited time on the power play. He didn’t record a point but managed to finish with a plus-2 rating.
“I think once I realized in my first NHL game that I could play with those guys, I settled in and became more comfortable,” Gaudette said. “Every game, I’m getting more comfortable.”