Tag: John Gaudreau

Flames’ Bennett compares Gaudreau to McDavid


Calgary Flames first round pick Sam Bennett has played just two prospect tournament games with Johnny Gaudreau, but has been quite impressed by the 2014 Hobey Baker winner.

Bennett and Gaudreau played on a line together combining for two goals and two assists in Calgary’s 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers’ top prospects Saturday night.

When asked if Bennett could compare Gaudreau’s talents to someone he had previously played with, one name came to mind for the Flames’ 2014 first rounder.

“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. Its’ pretty impressive,” Bennet told the Flames website post-game. “Any chance you get to play with a guy like that, good things are going to happen for you. I was fortunate enough to play with him tonight.”

McDavid along with Jack Eichel are expected to go 1-2 at next June’s NHL Draft.

Gaudreau, the Flames fourth-round selection in 2011, is looking to crack the Flames lineup after scoring 36 goals and 80 points in 40 games during his third season at Boston College in 2013-14.

The 21-year-old showcased why many are excited to see his talents at the next level Friday with this highlight reel goal.

Having Gaudreau and Bennett teaming up for must-see goals is something Flames’ fans are hoping to see for years to come.

Related: Flames’ prospect Bennett wants to prove he’s NHL ready

Video: Flames’ prospect Gaudreau shows off hands

Johnny Gaudreau

Calgary Flames prospect John Gaudreau showed off some of the nifty moves, which earned him the 2014 Hobey Baker award Friday night at the Young Stars tournament.

Gaudreau, 21, undressed Winnipeg Jets’ defenseman Nelson Nogier before going backhand shelf on goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

Have a look:

The 2011 fourth-round pick (104th overall) helped the Flames erase a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Jets 6-4 in their first game of the tournament.

The 5-foot-7, 150-pound forward scored 36 goals and 80 points during the 2013-14 season with Boston College. Gaudreau scored his first NHL goal in his lone game with the Flames last season, a 5-1 loss in Vancouver on April 13.

Flames re-sign Byron despite not qualifying him

Paul Byron

The Calgary Flames allowed Paul Byron to test the unrestricted free agent market when they decided against presenting him with a qualifying offer. After seeing what was out there though, the 25-year-old forward and Flames agreed on a one-year deal.

Byron split the 2013-14 campaign between the AHL Abbotsford Heat and Flames, but his new contract is one-way, per the Calgary Sun.

When he was with the Flames last season, Byron averaged 14:26 minutes per game. He scored seven goals and registered 14 assists in 47 contests. That brings him up to 81 career NHL games spread out over four campaigns.

Calgary now has nine forwards signed to one-way contracts. NCAA standout John Gaudreau and Sean Monahan are both signed to entry-level deals, but are also expected to make the team, as are restricted free agents Joe Colborne and Lance Bouma.

IIHF Today: Watch quarterfinals online, broadcast schedule

Antoine Roussel

The 2014 World Championship playoffs are about to begin and you’ll be able to watch all of the contests live, courtesy of NBCSports.com. For certain games, there will also be an encore performance on NBCSN.

If you want to watch any of today’s quarterfinals contests, but aren’t sure where to go, just follow the corresponding links below:

United States versus Czech Republic — 9:00 a.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE)

Neither of these countries had the showing in the Olympics that they were hoping for, but this tournament is a chance for the nations to rebound. This is also a nice opportunity to see one of the United States’ top prospects in John Gaudreau. The 20-year-old forward will attempt to establish himself with the Calgary Flames in 2014-15 after finishing his successful tenure with Boston College, but for now he’s dominating in the World Championship with two goals and 10 points in seven games.

Russia versus France — 10 a.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE)

Russia’s another team that underwhelmed in the Olympics, meanwhile France is this tournament’s Cinderella Story. The French kicked things off with a stunning shootout win over Canada and they went on to also beat Slovakia, Norway, and Denmark. They also finished within a goal of Sweden and the Czech Republic. Dallas Stars enforcer Antoine Roussel has been one of the tournament’s top performers, leading France with six goals and 11 points in seven games.

It’s worth adding that Alex Ovechkin, who suffered an injury that initially looked serious, is good to return, per Sport-Express’ Slava Malamud.

Canada versus Finland — 1 p.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE or view it on NBCSN)

As mention above, Canada started the tournament with a loss to France, but they haven’t been defeated since and they consequently still ended up with the top seed in Group A. Finland hasn’t been nearly as successful as they lost to Latvia, Russia, and the United States during the round robin phase.

Buffalo Sabres forward Cody Hodgson has been leading the charge for Canada with six goals and eight points in seven contests.

Sweden versus Belarus — 2 p.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE)

Like France, the fact that Belarus has made it this far is a rare accomplishment for the country. In fact, this represents just the fourth time that the nation has made it into the top eight. KHL goaltender Kevin Lalande deserves a fair amount of the credit for their success with his 0.66 GAA and .964 save percentage in four games.

Short man complex? Five little guys proving the critics wrong

2011 Home Hardware CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game

Hockey writers around North America are contractually obligated to compare every single hockey prospect under 5’10” to Martin St. Louis. It seems like when a player is small and talented, scouts are automatically trained to look for reasons the prospect will never make it to the NHL level. Sometimes, they don’t even need another reason; even if they’re productive against other prospects, scouts will shy away from a player because it’s so difficult to compete against the larger players of the NHL.

Here are five of the smallest prospects who were drafted this year. Each and every one of these players has been told they are too small; yet each and every one of them continues to succeed.

Rocco Grimaldi (5’6” – 163 pounds)
Florida Panthers – 2nd round, 33rd overall

Grimaldi is a first round talent who slipped to the Florida Panthers (#33 overall) on the second day of the draft because of his size. Perhaps the most electrifying player in the entire draft, International Scouting Services rated him as the best skater and one of the best puck-handlers available. In a telling comment, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel explains: “the scouts agree that if he was 5-10 his skills would’ve made him the overall top pick ahead of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.” Next season Grimaldi plans on continuing his development at University of North Dakota. He may not be able to improve on his size, but if he can improve on his skills, the NHL won’t be able to ignore him.

Ryan Murphy (5’10” – 166 pounds)
Carolina Hurricanes – 1st round, 12th overall

At 5’10” and 166 pounds, Ryan Murphy would be undersized whether he played up front or back on defense. Since he’s a first round blueliner (and one of the smallest picked in the draft), he must have some spectacular skills to get scouts attention. He does. Murphy is one of the best skaters in the entire draft, he’s the best pure offensive defenseman, and has a booming shot from the point. The best NHL comparison for Murphy is that he’s like a smaller, faster Mike Green. He still struggles in his own zone, but he’s such a dynamic player, the Carolina Hurricanes were willing to overlook his shortcomings.

John Gaudreau (5’6” – 137 pounds)
Calgary Flames – 4th round, 104th overall

Selected in the 4th round by the Calgary Flames, Gaudreau was the smallest player selected in the 2011 Entry Draft. Not surprisingly, he’s a great skater who thrives when the game resembles a pond hockey game. He was able to score 36 goals in 60 games this season in the USHL; we’ll see if he can step up his game next season as he’s already committed to Northeastern University for the 2011-12 season.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau (5’9” – 163 pounds)
Ottawa Senators – 4th round, 96th overall

Pageau is a little different that most of the smallish prospects that catch the scouts’ eyes. Usually the undersized prospects have lightning fast speed that makes them impossible to ignore, but Pageau doesn’t fall into that category. He’s skating is good—not great, but certainly not bad. The quality that sets him apart is that despite his size, he’s willing to go into the dirty areas to do whatever his team needs to win. This year in the QMJHL, he managed 32 goals and 79 points in only 67 games. The Senators will let him continue to develop in Gatineau, but if he continues to produce he could be an exciting player that the organization takes a look at in a few years.

Shane McColgan (5’8” – 165 pounds)
New York Rangers – 5th round, 134th overall

McColgan is the quintessential example of a player who drops simply because of his size. He’s an elite playmaker who finished 2nd in the WHL Rookie of the Year voting in 2009, behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Even though he’s an undersized, electrifying player, he’s still strong on his skates and isn’t easily knocked off the puck. Not only that, he’s not afraid to mix it up when he’s protecting his teammates. If a player with all of McColgan’s skill and heart was in a 6’1” frame, he would have been selected at the top of the first round.

If you’re still looking around for more information about this year’s draft, check out our NHL Draft Headquarters.