Raw offensive upside with a heavy shot from the blueline; could take plenty of seasoning in the minors before he’s ready to make the jump to the NHL.
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May 2022 – Gawanke enjoyed a successful third season with the Manitoba Moose, where he posted a career-high 36 points (10G, 26A) leading all Moose defencemen. He logged considerable minutes including first powerplay duties, where he excelled at distributing the puck to teammates and utilizing his heavy shot. His 141 shots lead all Moose defensemen, often strategically blasting through traffic, a strong sign for fantasy managers including SOG categories.
While he could improve his foot speed, he is currently a strong puck mover, On the defensive, Gawanke’s game showed noticeable development, particularly in his coverage, timing, and effective game management. Despite his desirable toolset, Gawanke will likely need some more seasoning in the AHL next year to refine his defensive game but he remains aware, confident, and determined to improve. The 23-year-old needs a new contract (RFA), but I see the Jets re-signing as he shows the potential to be a top-four blueliner. The log jam in the Jets D corps poses an issue for the Moose who have a handful of young defencemen chomping at the bit to punch their ticket to the show. Justin Kaye
April 2020 – Gawanke signed a three-year entry-level contract prior to the year and had a strong first season with the Moose, tallying 26 points in 48 games. The offensive upside is there, it will just be a matter of putting together all facets of the game to stick at the NHL level. Jamie Zadow
March 2019 – The German defenseman is having quite the season in the QMJHL, leading all Cape Breton blueliners with 54 points through 59 games. He has great offensive potential and it’s certainly showing this year. Gawanke also represented Germany at the U20 World Junior Championships for the third straight year. Jamie Zadow
September 2018 – Gawanke got off to a slow start last season, but finished strong and his 32 points (4 G, 28 A) in 62 games was good enough for second amongst defencemen on the Cape Breton roster. Often overlooked in prospect circles, he’s started to gain some notoriety around the QMJHL, where he is back for his third season with the Screaming Eagles. A product of the youth hockey system in Germany, Gawanke has plenty of upside and is thought of as a long-term project. He possesses a heavy shot from the point and needs to be less gun shy and let it rip more often. Jamie Zadow