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Jonah Gadjovich 2023 player review: Rounding out the bottom six

While San Jose Sharks General Manager Mike Grier has yet to land those high end, high talent players for the Sharks, he has done a great job of rounding out the bottom six.

During his first offseason, Grier created a game plan for the Sharks. The team would be hard to play against up and down the lineup. Grier spent the offseason altering the team’s roster to fit that mold. He allowed Jonathan Dahlen to walk in free agency and signed Jonah Gadjovich to a one-year deal.

Gadjovich’s 2022-23 production

Unfortunately for Grier, he never had the chance to see what the team would look like with all his new additions. As explained in another player review, Luke Kunin missed a majority of the season because he needed ACL surgery. Gadjovich went down shortly after that.

Games Played G A P PIM +/- SOG Shooting %
35 3 4 7 57 -3 32 9.4%

In 35 games with San Jose, Gadjovich had 7 points (3 G, 4 A) while averaging 8:59 minutes of ice time per game. He rarely, if ever, saw time on the power play and didn’t spend much time on the penalty kill either.

Gadjovich’s a grinder

The one thing that Gadjovich did bring is exactly what Grier was looking for; he made it tough for players on the other team.

Among Sharks skaters who played 300-plus minutes this season, Gadjovich was well outside of the team’s norm in hits taken and hits dished out. You’ll notice that for every 60 minutes of hockey he played, Gadjovich doled out nearly ten more hits than he took.

It’s hard to say if Gadjovich could have kept up that pace over an 82-game season. He had 92 hits in 35 games this season. Projected out, if he played the entire 82-game season, he would have approximately 215 hits. This season’s NHL leader in hits was Luke Schenn with 318, but Gadjovich’s 215 would have put him within the top 25 in the league.

Gadjovich was an asset

When it comes to a fourth line player, there are a few things a team is looking for. First, you want that player to impact the game. Gadjovich does that with virtually every shift he takes. He’s not afraid to play the body or take a hit to make a play.

The second thing you want is for that fourth line player to positively impact the team, whether it’s through scoring goals or changing the momentum of the game in your team’s favor. Gadjovich did that well.

We’ve shown the regularized adjusted plus-minus (RAPM) for several different Sharks this season. Gadjovich stands out because he is near or above league average in almost every single category.

The regularized adjusted plus-minus (RAPM) stat evaluates a skater’s on-ice performance after accounting for things outside of the player’s control such as zone starts, opponents, back to back games, etc.

The Sharks were not good last season. However, Gadjovich was good.

Look at his even-strength Corsi against per 60 minutes (CA/60). You can see that when the 24-year-old was on the ice, he kept the shots on his team’s net to a minimum. Gadjovich was either on his opponent’s end of the ice, or he was simply keeping the team to the outside of his own zone and preventing a scoring opportunity.

None of the Sharks we have reviewed thus far have had a CA/60 in the top two-thirds of the league the way Gadjovich does.

Gadjovich’s future with the Sharks

Gadjovich is a restricted free agent (RFA) coming off of a $750,000 contract. According to CapFriendly, the forward must receive a qualifying offer of at least $787,500 this offseason for the Sharks to retain the player’s rights.

This seems like an easy short-term signing for the Sharks. Grier never got to see what his team would look like with Gadjovich on the fourth line for the full season. It won’t cost him much to re-sign the forward to a short, two-year deal at an easy to swallow price. Best of all, it can be a two-way deal if need be.

The only concern Sharks fans should have regarding Gadjovich is his health. He went down partway through the season, and while he was skating again in April, he never made it back to the lineup.

In two seasons with the Sharks, Gadjovich has been kept out of the lineup due to injury four times. He has played just 78 games in two years.

Editor’s Note: Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out the player reviews for the San Jose Sharks. We realize there were a lot of guys rotating into and out of the lineup and some of the key depth players were traded. As a result, Fear the Fin plans to focus on the players that are 1) still with the Sharks and 2) played 20 or more games for San Jose this season.

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