Calgary Flames: Former notable fourth-round picks

CALGARY, AB - OCTOBER 7, 2017: (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - OCTOBER 7, 2017: (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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LAS VEGAS, NV – FEBRUARY 21, 2018: (Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV – FEBRUARY 21, 2018: (Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Number One: RW Johnny Gaudreau, 2011

The most anticipated fourth-round pick in this list. Johnny Gaudreau has grown to be one of the Calgary Flames best players. He didn’t get drafted until the fourth round even though he had respectable numbers in the USHL the year of his draft and he was commended by scouts for his speed and puck-moving abilities, but he’s also one of the smallest guys on the ice, which had a big factor in his draft position.

Gaudreau played for Boston College of the NCAA for three years starting in 2011 and was one of the highest touted college players at the time. In 2013, he played for Team USA at the World Juniors where he put up seven goals and nine points in seven games at the tournament to help the Americans win a gold medal. He also had the most goals among all skaters at the tournament and was named one of Team USA’s top three players.

The 2013-14 season was a big one for him. He had a personal best of 36 goals and 80 points in 40 games, which led the entire NCAA in goals, assists, and points. He was named New England’s best forward and MVP and won the Hobey Baker award. When his season ended, he made his NHL debut with the Flames in their final game of the season where he picked up his first NHL goal and the lone Flames goal of the game. He then went on to play for Team USA at the World Championship where he picked up two goals and 10 points in eight games. USA lost in the quarter-finals.

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In 2014-15, he landed a permanent role with the Flames after an impressive training camp. He put up 24 goals and 64 points in his rookie year to help the Flames make the playoffs for the first time in six years. Gaudreau alongside Jiri Hudler and Sean Monahan were one of the most exciting lines to watch, especially with their ability to come back in games. He finished second on the team in scoring, after Hudler, and was a finalist for the Calder trophy that year.

After that season, Gaudreau has led the Flames in points every year. This past season, he had a career-high of 84 points in 80 games. For a couple months of the season, he was at the top of the scoring race, being second or third in the entire league.

Gaudreau has played in other international tournaments as well. He played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey as well as two other World Championship. He most likely would have made Team USA for the Olympics if NHL players went to the Olympics this year. At the Worlds, he won a bronze medal this year and was named a top-three player for Team USA last year.

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In summary, a draft position isn’t a telling of where a player will end up in their careers or in their lives. I mean, look at other stars who were drafted even later, like Theo Fleury and Pavel Datsyuk. Or even players who were never drafted, like Mark Giordano, Joe Mullen, or Martin St. Louis.

As the great Britney Spears once said, choose your own destiny. Thanks, Britney.