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Looking to make the leap: Johnny Gaudreau

Aug 3, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

Johnny Gaudreau Getty Images

If you’re not familiar with Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau, you’re likely going to hear a lot about him in the coming months.

Gaudreau was a star player at Boston College and won the 2014 Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s top player. Scoring 36 goals with 80 points in 40 games made him the virtual automatic winner of the award as offensive output like that doesn’t happen very often in college hockey.

The same day he won the Hobey, he signed his entry level deal with the Flames. Two days later he made his NHL debut and scored his first goal. Making a first impression like that is a good way to get fans excited, but now it’s a matter of doing it daily at the pro level.

Potentially working against Gaudreau is his size. At 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds he’s far from big, but fortunately for him he has a role model who’s been making his size work for him for a while in the NHL in Martin St. Louis.

The comparisons with St. Louis are something he’s been dealing with for a while. They’re even more apt considering both guys played college hockey and were big time scorers there. What may help Gaudreau most is the situation the Flames are in as they rebuild.

Gaudreau will have every opportunity to crack Calgary’s roster right out of training camp and, after a quick glance at who they have now, there’s no reason to think he can’t do it.

The Flames are lacking in dynamic offensive players. Gaudreau has shown he can light it up at the college level (175 points in 119 games) and while doing it against much bigger pros is a lot harder, opponents may find his speed and elusiveness hard to handle. If he can show his BC skills during camp, we may be talking about him as a Calder Trophy candidate in no time.

  1. anthj99 - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    This guy is dynamic to say the least. Not a fan of Calgary, but I’m rooting for this kid. His vision and skill is among the best in the game, I hope he can put it all together and have a great career.

  2. lowenni - Aug 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Skill level is easily top-20 in the NHL, and he’s only played one game. Hockey IQ as well. There’s nothing to do about his height but he should definitely add on to those 150 pounds, that’s way too light even at his height. If he doesn’t THEN he won’t make it. Best of luck to Johnny Hockey, if he pans out, he, Baertschi, Monahan and Bennett are gonna be a dynamic force in a few years.

    • dchambers144 - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      I’m not saying he isn’t good and won’t turn into a solid player; but top 20 right now? No way, just based on points look at some of the names on that list. Patrick Kane was tied for 20th in scoring with Toews coming in a point behind him. I’d say let’s re-evaluate after a year or two.

    • dwlonline - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      Not entirely sure Baertschi is going to pan out with the Flames.

  3. capsnbohs23 - Aug 3, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Not a Calgary fan but im hoping this kid can do big things in this league, I always root for the small guys

  4. dwlonline - Aug 3, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Let’s think about this, two of the NHL’s great small players started their careers (and had banner years) with the Flames.

    Theo Fleury (5’6″, 180 lbs)
    Marty St. Louis (5’8″, 180 lbs)

    Really, it only seems fitting that Johnny Gaudreau starts here.

    • lightning79 - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:05 PM

      try explaining that to Brian Burke. The guy who drafted Tyler Biggs (a projected 4th liner) because of his size…

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