Last April I did a comparison between Johnny Gaudreau and Nathan Gerbe. It’s a fairly natural one to draw – Gerbe is the smallest player in the NHL (5’6″, 175), came up through the same Boston College system and was a Hobey Baker award finalist in his 20-21 year old college season.
Before we get into the details, it should be noted that despite the fact that Gerbe is often held up as a reason why the Flames shouldn’t be too excited about Gaudreau, the 26-year old is actually a very capable NHLer at this point. He is scoring at roughly an 18-goal, 40-point pace for the Hurricanes this year and boasts some of the better underlying numbers on that team currently. Those are pretty decent results and the sort of output you celebrate from a 4th round draft pick 10 times out of 10.
That said, Gerbe may not be a great comparable to Gaudreau for the simple reason that the Flames prospect is blowing the BC alum’s offensive stats out of the water. In the last post on the subject we saw that Gaudreau’s second season was nearly as good as Gerbe’s third. With Gaudreau more than half way through his 20-21 year, we can better contrast the two players:
|*projected based on 43 game season|
Right now Gaudreau is on pace to score almost 20 points more than Gerbe at the same age. If Johnny Hockey manages to keep up a near 2.0 point-per-game pace, he’ll finish with about 180 points in just 122 games. Gerbe had 133 in 123 games, meaning the latter would have managed nearly 50 less points in one more game played over his 3 year tenure.
So yes they are similar players thanks to circumstance and size…but Gaudreau is the vastly superior player. In college, at least.