Utica, N.Y. - Comets rookie Adam Gaudette is playing in his first full season as a pro, coming out of Northeastern University, where he played three seasons, winning the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top NCAA men's ice hockey player, last year.
He is a 2015 5th round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, and spent five games with the big club at the end of last season, following the completion of his collegiate campaign.
This year, he has bounced around between the Comets and Canucks, most recently being re-assigned here to Utica on Sunday.
He's played in 32 games this season so far for Vancouver, where he has three goals and four assists. Here in Utica, he's suited up in seven games where he has four goals and three assists.
Despite the lack of stability in his routine due to the seemingly constant travel, Gaudette is taking the experience in stride with a positive attitude, using it as a good learning tool.
"It's been a little crazy, something I’ve never done before, but I’m just trying to stay focused on the hockey and not about the travel and where I’m going to be the next couple of days," Gaudette said. "[I'm] just trying to stay focused on what’s in front of me."
He said that spending the year split between both levels has helped him mature as a pro, and has actually had a very prominent impact early in his career.
"I think that time I had up in Vancouver really helped. I kind of developed myself as an NHL player and to come back down here, I get a lot more confidence and a lot more minutes playing in all situations," he said. "So it’s been great and I think that confidence factor has been huge."
Comets head coach, Trent Cull, has noticed the improvement in Gaudette's game from the beginning of the year until now. He said that Gaudette's attitude has been impressive, especially for such a young player.
"He’s a young pro who is the consummate pro, there’s no hangover from him coming from the NHL," said Cull. "I can’t speak for him, but I can tell the way he acts he’s happy to be here, he’s happy to play in all situations and I think he looks forward to coming and playing here."
Cull added that this attitude also makes it easy for the coaching staff to help him to continue to improve, whether that be in the NHL or AHL.
"He’s a very coachable kid. He’s got a great skill-set, he’s got great speed, a great shot," said Cull. "It’s just the little details I want to make sure that I can try to help him with here."