Columbus Blue Jackets 2023-2024 player review: Brendan Gaunce

Playing in his 11th NHL season, Brendan Gaunce was looking to carve out a role with the CBJ on the 4th line. While he couldn’t establish a permanent position with the club, he filled in well when regular players were hurt and added depth to the forward group.
Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets
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Brendan Gaunce was not signed by the CBJ in the summer of 2021 to be an impact player. He was signed to be a call-up player from the Cleveland Monsters, which he again fulfilled this season.

Gaunce was drafted back in 2012 (26th overall) by the Vancouver Canucks. At this point in his career, we know what he is: a decent minor league player who can be called up to the NHL in case of injury.

He is not a regular NHL contributor and has not been able to cement himself above the role of a minor league call-up guy.

To this point in his career, he has played a total of just 177 NHL games, scoring 13 goals and 28 points.

Gaunce typically serves as captain of the AHL's Monsters, but sees time in the NHL when called upon.

He has size, good speed and was a physical energy player for the Blue Jackets this season. Back in 2021-2022, he was called up for 30 games and had some moments where the crowd took notice of him.

However, during his time with the big club this season, he didn’t seem as noticeable on the ice as he did back in 2021-2022.

Gaunce will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. It is possible that the new general manager signs him to a two-way deal to keep him as a depth player. However, I doubt he is retained.

With all of the young players vying for CBJ roster spots and playing significant roles for the Cleveland Monsters next season, I just don’t see much room for Gaunce within the organization.

B. Final season stats: 24 games played, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, 6 PIM, -7, 24 shots on goal. . Brendan Gaunce 2023-2024 grade:. Brendan Gaunce 2023-2024 grade:

Gaunce fulfilled his role as the call-up player admirably again this season. He didn’t have flashy statistics or score any big goals. That wasn’t his job. His job was to be a fill-in guy in case of injury. That’s why he gets a B from us.