After showing he can contribute in the playoffs for the Nashville Predators, Frederick Gaudreau has received some certainty in his hockey future. The 24-year old signed a three-year contract worth $650K the first two seasons, and $700K in 2019-20. The first two seasons are also two-way, meaning he’ll make just $70K at the AHL level.
Gaudreau went undrafted out of the QMJHL as an undersized forward without eye-popping numbers, but has continued to develop in the AHL and this season made his NHL debut. Though his nine games during the season weren’t anything to write home about, he stepped up in the playoffs when the Predators’ center depth blew up and scored three big goals including two game-winners in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Playoff performance aside, Gaudreau doesn’t have much leverage when it came to contract negotiations. Though he was arbitration eligible, he chose not to file and instead agreed to a third year under contract. That will take him to unrestricted free agency, and it will be interesting to see if he can crack the Predators lineup next season. With just one regular season point under his belt it’s no guarantee, though many fans will likely lobby for his inclusion on the final roster.
The Predators now have five restricted free agents left to sign, including Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson. Though Johansen didn’t file for arbitration, Arvidsson’s hearing is set for July 22nd. The Predators have plenty of cap room, but will need to decide how long to lock up each of their young stars.