When the Nashville Predators acquired Paul Gaustad prior to last year’s trade deadline, he was seen as one of the final pieces that could get this club over the playoff hump. The Preds gave up a lot to get him, only to falter in the postseason. A year later, that’s a trade that doesn’t look great for Nashville.
The Predators surrendered a first round pick in last summer’s draft in order to acquire Gaustad for the stretch run. That’s a pick they could have used to draft and develop someone who could help them out offensively. Luckily, the recently acquired Filip Forsberg helps them to recover from that aspect of it.
But it’s tough to rationalize the deal that Gaustad received to remain in Nashville last summer. While he’s excelled in one aspect of his game, he’s been largely unnoticeable on the ice for the majority of his time with the Preds. He’s never been a big points guy, but has typically been good for 10 or 12 goals.
In his time with the Preds, which includes 37 regular season games, he has just two goals. He has only nine points total in those games. Where he has been an absolute wizard has been in the faceoff circle. That’s part of what he was brought in to do. He’s winning just about 60 percent of his draws since joining the Preds last season.
It’s hard to look at the trade and call it a complete failure, though. The Predators weren’t bringing Gaustad in to put up a ton of points. And with the team struggling and Gaustad now out for the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, this year is pretty much a wash.
Gaustad has three years left on his deal with a cap hit at $3.25 million. That’s big money for a guy who doesn’t bring much outside of the faceoff circle. It will be interesting to see what they plan to do with him moving forward.