Welcome to the Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings, the series that makes you wish you were under 25 once again. The list includes all players born after January 1st, 1996. Five staff writers (Beggsy, Westy, CanucksAbbyFan2, Trevor Connors, Markus Meyer) and one former staff writer (Daniel Gee, Elite Prospects) cast votes for the project.
The best way to describe Jonah Gadjovich’s game is powerful.
The physical 6’2 winger uses his strength to power his way to the dirty areas of the ice, doing the less-glamorous brute work while allowing others to dance around the perimeter. Gadjovich had a bounce back sophomore AHL campaign after struggling the year before and showed why the Canucks made him a second round pick in 2017.
He managed to score 13 goals and record four assists while playing in just 38 games, all while playing the majority of his minutes in the bottom-six. Built in the mold of the classic power forward, he's no fun to play against and has managed to overpower opponents at every level he’s played.
After his first professional season in which he managed only 10 points in 43 games, there were plenty of people concerned that Gadjovich had finally found a level where he could no longer rely on his brute strength. His bounce-back season this year has helped quell much of those concerns.
Still questions remain over how effective the Whitby, Ontario product will be at the NHL level. As Cam Robinson of Dobber Prospects said in his latest update on Gadjovich, “The foot speed needs to see continued improvement to jump up the AHL lineup - something he should have a chance at next year.”
This goal, Gadjovich’s first as a professional, displays his willingness to get dirty and just how hard is he to move from that dangerous area in front of the net.
Gadjovich has been blessed with some nice hands for his size and a strong shot which are some of the premier tools that have helped him light the lamp in the AHL. Eventually the goal would be for Gadjovich to play a similar role for the Canucks that he plays for the Comets right now as a bottom-six, tough-nosed power forward with a sneaky scoring touch.
What’s Next for Gadjovich?
Gadjovich’s improvement between last season and the one before is an encouraging sign that the big man is starting to put things together at the professional level. It can be a tough transition for many players going from the star in junior to being restricted to playing a role in the pros but it seems as if he is starting to excel in his role.
Gadjovich will need to work his way up the AHL depth chart and prove that he can play a larger role down there before he receives any NHL consideration. The Canucks are deep upfront and thus it could be a while before he gets his shot.
While he’s never going to be a star, big Jonah Gadjovich could play an important role for the Canucks in the future. Solid role-players are key to a contending team and if the Canucks can keep Gadjovich for cheap he could be one of those crucial pieces.