How Jonah Gadjovich developed his game en route to an eventual NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks
Gadjovich has authored a renaissance season in the AHL for the Utica Comets. The 6-foot-2, 209-pound winger has skyrocketed up the Vancouver Canucks prospect depth chart, scoring 15 goals in 19 games for the Comets this season, a significant uptick in last year's outputs.
This newfound productivity was a shock to the system of many an analyst who discounted the translatability of Gadjovich's game in the past. Lingering concerns about the Canucks 2017 second-round pick's foot speed left many, myself included, paradoxically a few steps behind, ignoring the other qualities to his game that made an NHL future feasible.
Sometimes, a single deficiency can be so limiting that it affects all aspects of a player's game — so why worry about a poor evaluation who potentially has flipped the script?
What if a player could improve upon a deficiency so crippling, though? How would that fit in the context of their broader skill set? How much better would the player ultimately be? How should we value the player differently?
Talent evaluators could ponder these matters ad nauseam. Instead, we can glean lessons from Gadjovich’s 2021 AHL season.
As the former world No. 1 Tennis pro, Andre Agassi once said, “what makes something special is not just what you have, but what you feel there is to lose.”
This piece will aim to look at Gadjovich as a player right now, examining the improvements in his game, and dig into how this might relate to Agassi’s adage.
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