For the rebuilding Calgary Flames, Johnny Gaudreau is a talented prospect that offers hope for the future. The diminutive 19-year-old forward has been a star at Boston College for the past two seasons, and that’s where he plans to stay for at least another year.
And that’s fine. For now.
The worry in Calgary is that he stays there all four years and opts to become a free agent, spurning the team that drafted him 104th overall in 2011.
Not surprisingly, the Flames were playing it cool.
“We’ve had enough conversations with Johnny and with his family and with his family advisor that I’m not concerned about (him refusing to sign),” general manager Jay Feaster said. “The big thing is that I think we’re getting to the point with Johnny where, clearly, it’s fine to go back there now and play a year with his brother. But from our perspective, and we’ll talk to him about it here, we’d like to see him here.”
As for Gaudreau, he understands the concern after Justin Schultz waited out the Anaheim Ducks before joining the Oilers as a free agent.
“That was a big deal,” he said. “Some players do it.”
But that’s not his plan — “I’m strictly going back to school to improve my game, not to wait out the years to try and sign with someone else.”