1. Johnny Gaudreau
Johnnnnyyyyyy Hockkeeeyyyyyyyyy. I was deciding if I would put Johnny Gaudreau at first, but I decided I would. Gaudreau still has a long career ahead of him. If he keeps this up, he’ll be playing well over 1300 regular season games.
Gaudreau was taken in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL draft and made his NHL debut in the last regular season game for the Calgary Flames in 2013-2014, where he also registered his first NHL goal in a sad 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
In three full years with the Flames, he’s made the All-Star team three times, been a runner-up for the Calder trophy, and just recently won the Lady Byng trophy. Not too shabby for only three years in the NHL so far. He also has at least 60 points in each of his NHL seasons. The NHL did a re-draft of the 2011 draft and actually put Johnny at first overall! Go Johnny go!
Johnny right now has 204 points in 232 games.
In the 2014-2015 season, his first full season, the Flames made the playoffs for the first time in six years, with him, Sean Monahan, and Jiri Hudler making headlines. The Flames made the playoffs again this past season, twice in three years. Maybe Johnny Hockey is some sort of good luck charm. I mean, they don’t call him Johnny Hockey for nothing.
Johnny played with Team USA at the World Juniors in 2013 where they won Gold. That year, he led all skaters at the tournament for goals with seven. This year, he played with Team USA at the World Championship and played with them in 2014 as well. He also played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey in 2016.
It was a bit of a tough decision putting Johnny at first on this list, but it’s because I truly believe he’ll be one of the best players in Flames franchise history. This upcoming season, Flames management believes that the contention window is open for this team, and he’ll completely be a factor in that.
I mean, he’s only been playing in the NHL for three years and he’s already 31st on the Flames all-time leading point scorers. Actually, and this whole thing comes full circle, but thanks to one of our writers here, Tomas, for letting me know about this – Conroy was the one who signed Gaudreau on an ELC in 2014 when he won the Hobey Baker.
Well, there you have it! The five-best U.S. born players in Calgary Flames franchise history! Maybe in a few years, Matthew Tkachuk can join this list too.