Geek of the Week: Getting to Know Pageau

Scott Royce

2021-03-28

Jean-Gabriel Pageau has always been a very steady and reliable hockey player. While never touted as an offensive dynamo, he plays hard and competes night in and night out. Pageau was a product of the QMJHL and spent three seasons between Gatineau and Chicoutimi before being drafted by his hometown Ottawa Senators in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

In the 2012-13 season he would play for Ottawa's farm team the Binghamton Senators almost exclusively. His play was praised by many in the organization and would eventually earn him a late-season call up. Dubbed the "Baby Sens", this season's team was known for their slew of young players who were called up to the team from Binghamton. Pageau's terrific two-way game mixed with his speed, skill, and high work-rate made him a perfect fit for Ottawa's bottom-six. 

It wouldn't take long for Pageau to become a fan favorite in the nation's capital. The Sens snuck into the playoffs as the seventh seed and earned a date with the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. The Sens would go on to shock the Habs, eliminating them in just five games. In Game 5, Pageau would have one of his most memorable games in his career, posting a hat trick in a 6-1 blowout. Unfortunately, the Sens would be ousted by the Penguins the next round, but Pageau made a hell of a first impression with his team and its fanbase in his first opportunity. 

For the next two seasons, Pageau would continue to bounce back and forth between Binghamton and Ottawa. The 2015-16 campaign would make the first full season with Ottawa. Pageau played in all 82 games and posted a respectable 43-point campaign, which to this day is still a career best. He often found himself centering a line between wingers Mark Stone and Zach Smith, and the three had some nice chemistry. Aside from the offense, Pageau also began making headway on his faceoff game, winning 52.2% of his draws that season. He also laid out 166 hits which still remains his highest total in a year. 

The following year was more of the same for Pageau. While only posting 33 points, he still was doing all the little things right that don't show up on the scoresheet and was beloved by his then-coach Guy Boucher. The Senators would end up with 98 points on the year and finish second in the Atlantic Division. The playoff run that followed was an epic one. After eliminating the Bruins in six, the Sens would face the Rangers in the second round. The Sens would jump out to a 1-0 series lead and in Game 2, Pageau had another legendary playoff performance.

With a one goal in the game already, the Sens were down 5-3 with less than four minutes left in