David Gucciardi Prides Himself On Hard Work And Preparation

Washington Capitals prospect David Gucciardi is all about preparation. Preparing for games, practices, whatever the case may be, the 2022 seventh-round selection is prepared mentally and physically. 

“Anytime you get to be here in Washington, you’re really lucky. I’m so grateful to be here and it’s a lot of fun. They treat you like a professional,” Gucciardi said. “There’s a lot of really good resources we have so just try and use those as much as possible.”

The No. 213 pick in 2022 wrapped up his sophomore season at Michigan State this spring. The Spartans took a massive step forward under first-year head coach Adam Nightingale, going 18-18-2 overall and 9-11-3 in conference play, which was fifth in the conference.

The left-handed defenseman had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 36 games, which was one point shy of tying his rookie season point total. He also led Michigan State with three game-winning goals and was third on the team with 46 blocks. 

Now that he is an upperclassman, the 20-year-old rear-guard knows what Nightingale and the rest of the coaching staff expects from him.

“There’s expectations on how to be a Spartan on and off the ice,” Gucciardi said. “He talks a lot about being reliable, especially as a defensemen. You want to be reliable, you want to be counted on and most importantly, you want to be prepared.”

Prior to playing for the green and white, the Toronto, Ontario, native spent three seasons in the USHL, spread-out amongst four clubs. His best year was his final season in the league with the Waterloo Black Hawks, tallying 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 29 games.

Gucciardi describes himself as a defenseman who uses his size and skating to break up plays in all three zones. But the 6-foot-1 blue-liner would not have those traits without hard work, something he prides himself on.

“I want to outwork guys and use my skating to my advantage in the d-zone and try and get the puck out to our forwards as quickly as possible,” Gucciardi said. “If I’m not tired from getting the puck, I’ll join and try and make plays too.”

Similar to Big Ten rival, and possibly future teammate, Ryan Chesley, Gucciardi has a chance to have an increased role heading into his junior year. The Spartans lost one of their top defensemen in Cole Krygier. But in order to fill the hole in the roster, he needs to get quicker with and without the puck.

“The biggest thing for me to improve on would be speed [and] quickness,” Gucciardi said. “I want to be faster than the fastest guy, I want to be the quickest.”

Gucciardi will likely play-out the rest of his collegiate eligibility before signing a pro contract. If development camp goes well and he continues to prepare and outwork guys, he might be in the running for a breakout season in 2023-24.

“Being prepared is one of the most important things going into any situation. Going into this year’s camp you kind of know it’s coming, so you want to be prepared as best as possible,” Gucciardi said. “I want to compete hard, and that’s the biggest thing is to try and get faster and work hard at it. I hope to be faster by the end of the summer.”

By Jacob Cheris

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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2 Responses to David Gucciardi Prides Himself On Hard Work And Preparation

  1. GRin430 says:

    Gucciardi flashed some talent in the games I saw him play on TV, but I also saw a bunch of turnovers in his own zone that he needs to cut out of his game. I think if he continues to improve at even a “normal” pace, he will get a pro contract somewhere, whether with the Caps or some other org. I don’t know if the NHL is in his future, but he could probably earn a decent living in the AHL for a while.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Go get ‘em Guch!

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