There are plenty of big names flying around with the trade deadline fast approaching, which causes some guys to fly under the radar. Ottawa Senators forward JG Pageau falls perfectly into this category. Everyone is talking about Mike Hoffman or a home run for Erik Karlsson, but Pageau is much more attainable. Pageau is under contract until 2020 and only has a $3.1 million cap hit. He could bring in some much needed center depth and bolster any team’s penalty kill.
He is a bit smaller at 5’10” and roughly 180 lbs, but plays extremely hard on the puck. Reliability is becoming one of his strong suits, having played 82 games in back-to-back seasons. Considering he is more of a setup man, Pageau could be very beneficial to young forwards like Blake Coleman and Jesper Bratt. He has also been relied upon heavily in his own end, starting 60 percent of his face-off shifts in the defensive zone. Pair that with a 47.6 percent career Corsi (just shy of the league average for possession) and you have a pretty consistent defensive forward.
With centers being a hot commodity, the asking price for Pageau may be high, but Ottawa is also on the verge of a rebuild, which could find guys like Pageau and Zack Smith on the outside looking in. The fact that Ottawa has already have gotten burned on the Duchene deal may also bump up the asking price, but it’s certainly worth starting a conversation over. You also have the ability to keep a positive relationship for the offseason to try and go after a guy like Hoffman. While I can’t speak for what Ottawa hopes for in return, I would ballpark around a third or fourth-round draft pick, and possibly a prospect from the minors. Pageau could benefit from a fresh start, and he also would bring some playoff experience to a very inexperienced squad.