2008-09: Jean-Gabriel Pageau finished fourth in points for the Gatineau Intrepides midget AAA squad with 15 goals and 16 assists in 37 games. He was selected by the Gatineau Olympiques in the 7th round (125th overall) of the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft.
2009-10: Pageau had a solid first QMJHL season with Gatineau, scoring 16 goals with 15 assists and finish +4 in 62 games for the Olympiques. Pageau was one of the smaller and younger players in the league but was one of five players on the third place Olympiques to score 15 or more goals. In the playoffs, Gatineau defeated the Montreal Juniors in a classic seven-game series before being swept by the Saint John Sea Dogs. Appearing in just four of the playoff games, Pageau scored one power play goal and was -1 plus/minus.
2010-11: Pageau had a breakout year in his second season with the Olympiques – scoring 32 goals with 47 assists and finishing +23 with 12 power play goals in 67 games. While his play during the regular season was impressive, Pageau was at his best in the Quebec league playoffs – where he led Gatineau to the finals against eventual Memorial Cup champ St. John and frequently out-played more highly-touted prospects such as Drummondville's Sean Couturier. Ranked 170th in the mid-year rankings but not among the North American skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings, Pageau was selected by the Senators in the 4th round (96th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.
2011-12: Pageau returned to Gatineau after going to camp with the Senators and got off to a fast start before suffering a broken finger. Named a team captain prior to the season, he scored 18 goals with 13 assists in 17 games before suffering the injury. After returning from the injury he was traded to Chicoutimi at the QMJHL trading deadline. In 46 games between the two teams he scored 32 goals with 33 assists and had an even plus/minus with 25 penalty minutes. Chicoutimi reached the playoff semifinals after finishing fifth in the East Division during the regular season and in 16 playoff games Pageau scored 4 goals with 10 assists. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with Ottawa in June, 2012.
Pageau's outstanding all-around play, particularly in the Quebec league playoffs in 2010-11, have garnered him much attention but many clubs no doubt have shied away from him due to his small stature. In fact, the Senators' brass had the same concerns but having seen him many times they are convinced he can be a special player. While comparisons to former QMJHL players like Claude Giroux or Simon Gagne are premature, Pageau's instincts and desire to compete in small spaces are first rate. Whether he will be able to have the same success against bigger, faster and stronger players at the pro level will be his next challenge.
Pageau will begin his pro career in 2012-13 with the Binghamton Senators of the AHL. Ottawa feels that Pageau, in addition to being a "hometown" pick of sorts and a feel-good story, is an exceptional talent who can rise above the challenges his small stature presents. With players like Martin St. Louis, Claude Giroux, and Brian Gionta all competing successfully in the NHL, there is the precedent for a player like Pageau excelling at the NHL level.