At #3 in Flame For Thought’s Prospect Rankings is forward Johnny Gaudreau. Often referred to as “Johnny Hockey,” this coming 13-14 hockey season could be the New Jersey natives’ last as a student at Boston College.
He decided in the off-season that another year at college would be best for him, so that the 19-year old can develop more before turning pro.
“I’m strictly going back to school to improve my game, not to wait out the years to try and sign with someone else,” Gaudreau said.
Gaudreau is arguably the greatest player in all of collegiate hockey. He did not win the Hobey Baker Trophy, awarded to the MVP of the NCAA, last season, but a 51 point season in just 35 games turned a lot of heads.
This coming season, Gaudreau will be a junior at Boston College.
If Calgary does not sign him by next off-season, the Flames lose his rights and Gaudreau is free to sign with any team. It’s pointless to offer him a contract because he has expressed interest in staying at college until graduating.
As much as we would like to trust what Gaudreau says about “strictly going back to school to improve his game,” there are no guarantees until he signs his name on the dotted line.
After the situation between Justin Schultz and the Anaheim Ducks, there have been concerns about Gaudreau choosing not to sign with Calgary after completing his collegiate career but that isn’t something that the organization is worried about.
“I know that’s what the fans worry about,” Flames General Manager Jay Feaster said. “I’m not concerned that he’s going to college as a ruse for ‘I don’t want to be play in Calgary.’ We’ve had enough conversations with Johnny and his family, with his family adviser, that I’m not concerned about that.”
The 4th-round 2011 draft pick stands at just 5-9 and weighs a light 150. Gaudreau represented the United States and won gold in the 2013 World Junior Classic. In 7 games, he had 2 assists while recording 7 goals.
In his first season as an Eagle, Gaudreau registered 44 points in as many games, helping Boston College to a national championship title.
It’s possible that Johnny Hockey has the highest offensive ceiling of any Flames prospect ever.
Via Hockey’s Future -
“Gaudreau has really quick hands, shifty moves; explosive speed and this really small centerman could stickhandle in a phone booth. He has the determination and big time skill to prove the doubters wrong about his size, similar to Martin St. Louis. The teenager can make bigger players miss their checks while sliding off them with his elite edge control and quick skating. The small player will need to add muscle mass and weight to be able to play at the more physical NHL Level but he has time to mature. Gaudreau has scored goals at every level of hockey as he’s a pure scorer which is an asset that can’t be taught.”
Do you agree with this prospect ranking? Is Gaudreau rated too high; too low? Let us know in the comments section below!
Calgary Flames Prospect Rankings:
#10. Morgan Klimchuk
#9. Emile Poirier
#8. Max Reinhart
#7. Tyler Wotherspoon
#6. Corban Knight
#5. Jon Gillies
#4. Mark Jankowski
#3. Johnny Gaudreau
#2. August 7
#1. August 8