Throughout training camp, coach Dean Evason kept saying that journeyman center Freddy Gaudreau was going to make an impact for the Wild this season.

Never mind that Gaudreau entered this season with just five goals over 103 games in four seasons over a career that had yet to launch. Or that he had never truly played a full season as an NHL regular.

None of that mattered to Evason, who coached Gaudreau with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League a few years back, and always believed the 28-year-old center had a place in the NHL.

Well, if this past weekend is any indication, Evason was spot on in his assessment.

You could make a legitimate argument that Gaudreau, in his first season with the Wild, was the team’s most consistent player during their back-to-back victories over the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings over the weekend in California. He consistently won board battles with tremendous stick work, and even better, scored a big goal Saturday night from the slot after a pinpoint pass from linemate Kevin Fiala.

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“That’s him,” Evason said. “He’s sound. He’s got such great stick skills. He can stick handle in a phone booth. But he’s heavy, and he’s gritty. He bears down in the right areas, and he plays the game the right way. That’s why he’s here in the National Hockey League.”

Looking specifically at the goal in the Wild’s 3-2 victory over the Kings, Gaudreau’s chemistry with Fiala stood out. They played together in the minor leagues and also briefly with the Nashville Predators.

“What I know about Kevin is he’s a special player and he can make those plays,” Gaudreau said. “Just trying to get available for him and trust that he’s going to make those plays. Because most of the time he does. I just want to keep building on that chemistry.”

“I think the first game was good,” Fiala added. “We got better and better. Some good chances. I feel very confident with this line.”

Though the other players on that line might vary this season — Victor Rask and Rem Pitlick figure to split time in that spot — there’s a good chance Gaudreau and Fiala will be attached at the hip. That’s by design. They clearly play off each other well.

“Some of the little sauce passes that are landing on each other’s tape, it’s a chemistry of knowing the speed of each other so they can float a sauce pass and it lands on the guy’s tape and not in his skates,” Evason said. “We knew from the past, obviously, that they can play together, and their chemistry is getting better and better.”

Aside from the budding chemistry, the most important thing for Gaudreau now is he feels wanted for the first time in his NHL career.

‘I’ve felt great since Day 1 here,” Gaudreau said. “I like the team philosophy. I like everybody. It’s been great. I just want to keep building on that.”