The Colorado Avalanche have the ideal captain in Gabriel Landeskog even if he wasn’t having a career season before the NHL pause.
The Colorado Avalanche and the entire NHL are about to enter Phase 2 of the league’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting early next month, players can form groups of six and practice at team facilities. Phase 1 was the self-isolation period that the players are supposed to still be in.
Meanwhile, the NHL has announced that the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season has been cancelled. The standings at the time of the pause determine the top four teams in each conference. Colorado is number two in the Western Conference.
Since we’re getting near the end of the hockey hiatus, we have to finish up these evaluations. Here are some of the players we’ve covered so far:
The stats each player had at the time of the pause is how he’ll finish for the season. Let’s see what that means for left wing Gabriel Landeskog, our captain.
Brief History of Gabriel Landeskog
The Colorado Avalanche selected Gabriel Landeskog with the second-overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft. At the time, it was the highest they’d ever drafted. Landeskog left his home country of Sweden when he was just 16 to play for the Kitchener Rangers so he could learn the North American game before getting drafted.
Landeskog made the team out of camp recorded 22 goals and 30 assists for 52 points in his rookie year. Those numbers were good enough for him to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Landeskog also appeared at the 2018 All Star Weekend.
The following preseason, on September 4, 2012, Landeskog was named captain of the Avalanche. At the time, he was the youngest captain in NHL history. He is second only to Joe Sakic in length of time as an Avalanche captain.
Gabriel Landeskog Stats with the Colorado Avalanche
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Gabriel Landeskog’s career so far has spanned nine seasons. In that time, he’s played 633 games. All of them have been with the Avalanche.
Landeskog has accrued 460 points with 198 goals and 262 assists in the regular season. In the playoffs, he has 10 goals and 9 assists for 19 points in 25 games.
Landeskog’s career year was the 2018-19 season. In 73 games, he recorded 34 goals (first time scoring 30 goals) and 41 assists for 75 points. This season, he missed a fair amount of time due to injury. He only played 54 of the team’s 70 games. He had 21 goals and 23 assists in that time.
Evaluation of Gabriel Landeskog with the Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche is Gabriel Landeskog’s team. The Avs go how superstar Nathan MacKinnon goes, but Landeskog is the heart’s blood of the team. He’s set the team culture.
Landeskog is a true character captain, which is rare in the modern NHL. He’ll never lead the team in points — he ended the truncated season at #4 on the Avs for scoring — but he’ll always lead the team period.
My sincere hope is that Landeskog spends his entire career with the Avalanche. He’s signed through next season, and I’m going to be getting on the “Extend Landeskog’s Contract” train as soon as the 2019-20 playoffs are completed.
The Colorado Avalanche are simply a better team at every level because of Landeskog.