Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate DNVR Sports Community!

Avalanche season grades: Gabe Landeskog

Adrian Dater Avatar
June 6, 2018

This year, we finally saw what others saw in Gabe Landeskog previously: That he was true captain material.

The Swede, still the youngest captain in NHL history at the time he was named, took some time to grow into the role. This year, we saw a man, as the late Tom Wolfe would say, “in full.” Let’s break down his 2017-18 season and give a final grade:

Overview

There was only one big offensive statistical category in which Landy set a career high in this season: His 13.7 shot percentage bested all previous others in his seven-year career. His best goals-points season came in 2013-14, when he posted 26 goals and 65 points in 81 games.

But I submit that this was Landeskog’s best all-around season to date. He finished with 25 goals and 62 points in 78 games. The only four games he missed were for that way-overblown cross check to Matthew Tkachuk on Nov. 25, which got him suspended by the league. It’s hard to quantify leadership. But you know it when you see it. Landeskog was a real leader this year, on and off the ice.

He had two hat tricks on the season, one Nov. 16 against Washington and one Dec. 16 against Tampa Bay (a five-point night). He was pretty consistent throughout offensively, save for a nine-game goal drought from March 20-April 5. But he was just great in that 10th game, which just happened to be the final, do-or-die game of the season against St. Louis (more on that below).

What Landeskog doesn’t get enough notice for by the press is his very good defensive game. He’s a dogged backchecker and very good at breaking up plays in the neutral zone. I actually think he should get some consideration for the Selke Trophy. He played 20:09 per game, logged 87 minutes of short-handed time and 279 power play minutes. He had 54 official takeaways and he even won 51.4 percent of his faceoffs. He draws a lot of penalties, as the graphic above shows.

He was really good in the playoffs, too, with seven points in the six games with Nashville.

He is always accountable, always available to reporters in the dressing room, win or lose. He doesn’t whine about anything and he never makes excuses. That’s a leader.

Biggest Moment

That last game against the Blues – what a day for Landy that was. He scored a goal and assisted on two others in the victory that put the Avs in the playoffs – and the Blues out of the playoffs. He was physical, he played with emotion and he produced when it mattered most. That wasn’t just the best game of his season, it was the biggest and best game of his career.

What’s Next

Landeskog, 25, has three years remaining on a contract with a cap hit of $5,571,429. Starting this season, he can exercise a modified no-trade clause, in which he submits a list of 19 teams to which he would accept being traded. I definitely do not expect Landy to be traded anytime soon.

Final Grade

A-

That final game against the Blues prevented what would have been a bit of a flameout for Landy in those last two weeks. That nine-game scoring drought, along with the struggles of linemates Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon, almost helped to keep the Avs out of the playoffs. Almost.

Otherwise, Landeskog was a tremendous, A-list performer for the Avs. It’s hard to believe he’s only 25 still, too. He plays a hard game and his body takes a pretty good pounding, though he dishes it out well too. But unless injuries become a factor, you’d have to believe the best is still yet to come for the captain.

Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?