Move over Johnny football, there’s a new Johnny on the spot and this one plays hockey. Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau has been drawing attention since last fall where he put forth an impressive campaign with Boston College which helped him win the Hobey Baker award as the best NCAA male hockey player.
Johnny Gaudreau is back on the ice and turning heads with the Flames at the Young Stars Classic tournament. His impressive goal, shown below, has many singing his praises comparing him to Johnny Manziel and the yet drafted Connor McDavid.
After being drafted in the fourth round in 2011, Johnny Gaudreau took his time to develop at Boston College becoming arguably the best college hockey player last season. The same skills he used at Boston College to capture the Hobey Baker are coming to Calgary and the Flames alongside fellow rookie Sam Bennett can’t wait to see it on full display.
When asked who Bennett would compare Gaudreau too, he gave a bit of a shocking answer;
“Well, the only other player I can think of is Connor McDavid, but still I don’t even know if (McDavid) has some of the moves that John can pull off. It’s pretty impressive.” ~ Sam Bennett
That’s some pretty high praise for the former 4th round draftee compared to a player who is projected to be taken first overall. There is little doubt that Gaudreau has lots of slick moves that can freeze an opponent in time and if all goes according to plan, he’ll turn into a fantastic top 6 forward for the Flames.
His play and nickname are also getting him compared to Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns. While both play separate sports, both are trying to prove they belong in the big leagues with the big boys. Manziel does it with attitude and cockiness, while Gaudreau does it by allowing his skills on the ice to talk for themselves.
Should Johnny Gaudreau crack the Flames roster for this upcoming season, and there isn’t a real reason for him not too, many already have him penciled in as the early rookie of the year candidate. Not bad for a player who has played just one game in the NHL.
He’s stood out at every level he’s played and is drawing comparisons to others both inside and outside the hockey world, but Johnny hockey has already become a household name around the NHL. I for one can’t wait to see how Johnny Gaudreau follows this up and who he’s compared to next.