It’s almost hard not to think of Johnny Gaudreau when you think of the Calgary Flames. The New Jersey native has spent his entire NHL career with the Flames, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, will probably spend the rest of it in Alberta also. Gaudreau is a solid player, and the fans definitely appreciate having one of those as they continue to hope for a Stanley Cup run year after year.
Gaudreau worked his way up the USHL and college ranks before being drafted in the fourth round by the Flames in 2011. Man oh man, all the teams who passed on him. The Flames selected Gaudreau 104th overall that year, and many argue that he should have been a much higher selection.
Before the NHL
Gaudreau’s first hockey landing spot was the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints. Based in Dubuque, Iowa, Gaudreau spent one season there before going to college. In those 60 games he played, he put up 36 goals and 36 assists for 72 points. Not too bad if you ask me. Following his season was the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, where Gaudreau was obviously drafted by the Flames.
However, his path did not lead him directly to Calgary. It did, however, take Gaudreau to three seasons of NCAA hockey at Boston College. In his first year, which entailed 44 games, he put up 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points. His second year, he improved upon his performance by scoring 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points. His third and final season however, was his best performance of the three. In 40 games, he scored 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points. He also managed to be the recipient of the Hobey Baker Award, given to the NCAA’s best male ice hockey player.
Gaudreau & Early NHL Days
In the 2013-2014 NHL season, following the end of his tenure at Boston College, Gaudreau actually played one game for the Calgary Flames. He’ll sure remember that game forever, as he actually scored his first NHL goal in that game. In hindsight, that entire season is probably one that he will remember forever.
Gaudreau’s first full NHL season was the 2014-2015 one, where he played 80 of the 82 games. It wasn’t a bad performance for a rookie, with 64 points (24 goals, 40 assists) along with 9 points in 11 playoff games. Not a bad job as a winger. His performance only continued to rise though. In his second season, he put up 78 points (30 goals, 48 assists) in 79 games. Sadly, that year the Flames missed the playoffs.
In the 2016 – 2017 season, Gaudreau missed 10 games but still put up an impressive performance. In his 72 games, he put up 61 points (18 goals, 43 assists) along with 2 points in the Flames 4 playoff games. That year, Gaudreau was also the annual recipient of the Lady Byng trophy at the 2017 NHL Awards. The 2017 – 2018 season was Gaudreau’s best performance so far in the NHL. In 80 games, he put up 24 goals and 60 assists for 84 points. Sadly, it was yet another year where the Flames did not make the playoffs.
Current & Future
Last season, Gaudreau played a full 82 games for the first time in his NHL career. In those 82 games, he scored 36 goals and added 63 assists for 99 points. His playoff performance saw a measly 1 point in the Flames 5 playoff games. This year, well, it hasn’t been the best one. So far, should the NHL season resume, the Flames have currently played 70 games. In those games, Gaudreau has scored 18 goals and 40 assists for 58 points.
Overall, Gaudreau isn’t a bad player. Maybe he might be a tad inconsistent, but not bad. The Calgary Flames are definitely lucky to have him.
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