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Flames not worried Gaudreau will pull a Justin Schultz

Jul 12, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT

Johnny Gaudreau

For the rebuilding Calgary Flames, Johnny Gaudreau is a talented prospect that offers hope for the future. The diminutive 19-year-old forward has been a star at Boston College for the past two seasons, and that’s where he plans to stay for at least another year.

And that’s fine. For now.

The worry in Calgary is that he stays there all four years and opts to become a free agent, spurning the team that drafted him 104th overall in 2011.

Gaudreau was a hot topic at prospects’ camp this week, with both the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun writing stories about his flight risk.

Not surprisingly, the Flames were playing it cool.

“We’ve had enough conversations with Johnny and with his family and with his family advisor that I’m not concerned about (him refusing to sign),” general manager Jay Feaster said. “The big thing is that I think we’re getting to the point with Johnny where, clearly, it’s fine to go back there now and play a year with his brother. But from our perspective, and we’ll talk to him about it here, we’d like to see him here.”

As for Gaudreau, he understands the concern after Justin Schultz waited out the Anaheim Ducks before joining the Oilers as a free agent.

“That was a big deal,” he said. “Some players do it.”

But that’s not his plan — “I’m strictly going back to school to improve my game, not to wait out the years to try and sign with someone else.”

  1. titansbro - Jul 12, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Still don’t understand how they can return to NCAA after getting drafted & turning pro. In football you lose eligibility after you hire an agent.

    • jernster21 - Jul 12, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Did you even read the article? He hasn’t signed an NHL contract, that’s exactly the point. Just because you get drafted doesn’t mean you automatically get a contract. Many players return to their junior teams, others go to college, without contracts. The point is, if he waits too long after getting drafted he could eventually become a free agent to sign wherever he wants. A “family advisor” is essentially his agent, but he’s technically not getting paid.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 12, 2013 at 7:20 PM

        And to add on to that, NCAA players have to pay their own way to these camps because the NCAA would rule them ineligible if the team pays for flights, hotels etc. see the case of Bo Jackson’s college baseball career and why he never played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as proof of that.

        As a Flames fan I’m obviously nervous about Gaudreau’s intentions BUT he’s said all the right things, so believe what he says and hope for the best. And the truth is that at his current size he’s probably not ready to go pro yet, he needs another year in the NCAA and hopefully a lot of time spent in the weight room.

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