2011 Cap Hit: $ 3,575,000
2012 Status: $ 3,575,000
Gabriel Landeskog played in all 82 games for the Colorado Avalanche during his first NHL season. And what a season it was! After being drafted second-overall by the Colorado Avalanche the, now, 19 year old received a phone call from his idol Peter Forsberg welcoming him to the Avalanche organization.He was touted as being the most NHL ready player of the draft.
His first game? None other than against the Detroit Red Wings on the night that the Avs retired Forsberg's number. His first few games had some wondering just how "ready" he was. But once he got used to the speed of the game, and thinking quicker, he had a great year. His puck possession skills are fantastic, he is hard to knock off the puck, he isn't afraid to get physical, he has "hockey smarts", his work ethic matches Ryan O`Reilley's, he gives back to the community. In short, he plays a much more mature game than one expects when they see a 19 year old.
Gabe's work ethic and "never give up" attitude was best scene against Anaheim on March 12th, 2012. After being on IV fluids all day fighting the flu, he put on the Avalanche logo, got on the ice, fought through the game. Scored the overtime winner and fell to the ice in utter exhaustion. Landeskog has said that he doesn't care if he scores, or someone else scores, as long as the Avalanche win. If he continues to play this way the Avalanche will win more games.
The stats: He played in all 82 games. Gabriel had over 200 shots and over 200 hits in his first year in the NHL. That's a fairly remarkable feat. He had more blocked shots (58) than penalty minutes (51). He had two short-handed points, twelve power-play points, and 38 even-stregth points (total 52 points, third-best of the team). His 22 goals put him first on the team for goals. He fished the season +20 (best on the team). He had 270 shots - the guy with the second-most shots was Paul Stastny, with 190 shots!
2012 Outlook: Although it's possible that Gabe suffers through the "Sophomore Slump", I have my doubts that will happen. His numbers may decrease, but his play won't. The other teams already "know" to watch for him, and his linemates, which is a pretty high compliment for a rookie. Once he got used to the speed of the game, his work ethic and skills took over. This shouldn't change at all. Expect more of the same from him next year.
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