Throughout his hockey career, Johnny Gaudreau has turned heads and earned accolades. He amassed a stellar resume through his USHL and NCAA tenures.
Following a whirlwind first National Hockey League season, the Calgary Flames rookie has added to that resume, being named one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy. Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers and Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators are the other two finalists, as announced by the NHL earlier this evening.
Gaudreau was shaky in his first few NHL outings, eventually getting scratched by Flames head coach Bob Hartley, seemingly in a last-ditch effort to help him figure things out. Gaudreau had two points in his first game back, and ended up with 64 points over 80 games – tied for the rookie scoring crown with Ottawa’s Mark Stone.
If he wins, Gaudreau would be (a) the first USHL alumnus to win the Calder since fellow Dubuque Fighting Saints alumnus Gary Suter, and (b) the sixth Flames player to win it, following Eric Vail (1975), Willi Plett (1977), Suter (1986), Joe Nieuwendyk (1988) and Sergei Makarov (1990).