Johnny Gaudreau – Fastest to 100 in Franchise History

johnny gaudreau 100 points sportsnet

Last night Sportsnet noted that Johnny Gaudreau is the 5th fastest Flames to manage 100 points in franchise history behind Joe Nieuwendyk, Sergei Makarov, Carey Wilson and Eddy Beers. 

The thing that is immediately apparent when we look at that list is all those other guys played in the ’80s, when goals were much easier to come by than they are today. And because we’re stretching across multiple eras, we’re comparing apples to oranges when it comes to putting Gaudreau on that list. So I wondered how Gaudreau would look if we corrected for era-scoring. 

Spoiler: he’s #1. 

Flames to 100 (Era Corrected List)

To compare apples to apples, I looked at the NHL’s goals-per-game average during the period each guy was scoring his initial 100 points. For example, Makarov and Nieuwendyk were putting together their first 100 points when the average goals per game in the league was about 7.3-7.4. Beers and Wilson were earlier in the decade, so goals were even cheaper – about eight per game.

If we adjust each player’s scoring rate to the current era (just 5.3 goals per game), here’s what we get: 

Gaudreau: 0.87 PPG, 115 games to 100 points

Nieuwendyk: 0.81 PPG, 123 games to 100 points

Makarov: 0.77 PPG, 130 games to 100 points

Wilson: 0.60 PPG, 166 games to 100 points

Beers: 0.58 PPG, 170 games to 100 points

Of course, this is all theoretical because we can’t actually teleport Gaudreau back in time (or Nieuwendyk forward) to see how he would compare to the players in past eras. 

However, this exercise helps to put Gaudreau’s accomplishment in better perspective. Also, keep in mind the quality of team factor when looking at this list as well. i.e.; the roster Nieuwendyk and Makarov had to work with was superior compared to Gaudreau’s surrounding cast.

Johnny Hockey is just 22 years old and he’s already the Flames’ most deadly offensive weapon. Given the list above, he’s also starting to look like he could be one of the best Flames of all time.

  • FlamesRule

    Kent, thanks for this. I was wondering where he stood after reading yesterday’s article and spent fruitless time searching online for the record. Any idea how he stacks up in the league for fewest games to reach 100?

    Just the unadjusted stats of course;)

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Carey Wilson was not a shocker at all. Smart player, with great skill and good speed. Eddy Beers was a personal favorite player of mine, but I would not have put him in the top 10 of all Flames.

      Gaudreau is already asserting himself as a top performer in many categories:
      Game breaker, great passer, goal scorer, top speed. Those are all great attributes, but for me a player is unquestionably elite if he persistently makes players around him better. Johnny Gaudreau makes players around him better.

  • aflame13

    Careful not to use “era adjustments” when talking to Wayne Gretzky fans. Not only were more goals scored back in the 80s, but there were more minutes played by star players and more 4-on-4 and 3-on-3.

    • SmellOfVictory

      I don’t think it affects Gretzky all that much. He was so far beyond every other player offensively that even when adjusting for scoring rates and era, he absolutely destroys the competition aside from Lemieux and maybe Howe.

      • OKG

        It most certainly affects Gretzky(and Al MacInnis and co, BTW). He did however pad his stats a lot due to playing in the division with the worst goaltending.

        It affects Lemieux less, as he played in a better division.

  • BitGeek

    Everyone was wondering how well Johnny would stand up to the punishment of Hockey in this era given his diminutive stature. He has proven the nay sayers wrong and has thrived.

    I wonder if his skill set translates just as fluidly to times gone by.

  • Kevin R

    So I heard the panel refer to Johnny as making Super Star plays & is doing so consistently. So is by definition Super Star also generational or is it just elite? What is the boundary between what is viewed as generational & just simply elite. Nathan Mackinnon was considered generational in the #1 overall hype. Would you trade Gaudreau for Mckinnon at this point?
    McDavid has been tagged as generational & I have to admit, he looks pretty fnnnnn good. I don’t think I would trade McDavid for Gaudreau right now because I think Mcdavid might have a higher ceiling, but that has to be seen yet. I’ve been trashed for calling Gaudreau generational but my eye tests say his hockey IQ & skills to match are generational. Would you trade Johnny for any previous 1st over alls over the last 5-6 years straight up, besides McDavid?

    The kid is amazing, Brodie is amazing & we are so lucky the hockey Gods shined upon us to get those players in later rounds. Would anyone trade Brodie straight up for Seth Jones or Aaron Ekblad?

    Thus concludes my gush over our Super Stars of the Calgary Flames. May a few more arrive soon. :-}

    • MattyFranchise

      Right now I wouldn’t trade Brodie for Ekblad straight up but if there was a way to trade a 25 year old Brodie for a 25 year old Ekblad I would imagine there would be a solid case for pulling the trigger.

      If Ekblad’s ceiling is as high as everyone was saying it was before he got drafted then there is a pretty good chance that at the same age if not sooner Ekblad could be just as good or better than Brodie is right now.

      Which isn’t a knock on Brodie at all, I fully expect him to finish 2nd in the Norris voting this season. I’m only saying second because they will likely give it to whichever EC defenseman has more points than him.

      Right now though, since they are both in their second years in the league, there is no freakin way I trade Gaudreau for the 1st overall Ekblad.

      • KACaribou

        You really love Brodie my friend. I am a big fan too, but this Ekblad kid is a freak. I think Ekblad is as good as Brodie now, but just in a different way. He’s 6’4″ 220 and 19 years old, who plays with the composure of a 30 year old.

        I love the Flames. I love Brodie. But I am afraid I would have to trade him for this teen.

        • MattyFranchise

          Yes. Yes I do. I’d trade Gio for Ekblad in a heart beat but Florida would have to be pretty stupid to even consider it.

          I don’t think Ekblad is as good as Brodie right now but there’s a pretty damn good chance he will be better by the time he has the same amount of games played that Brodie currently has.

          Now I’m talking myself into agreeing with you, I blame the ‘Christmas cheer’ on my desk in front of me right now.

          Still no way I’d trade Gaudreau for him even though I thought that Ekblad completely deserved the Calder trophy instead of Johnny.

      • Kevin R

        Yeah, I hear you, Ekblads & Jones ceilings may be higher than Brodie, but it goes to show you how lucky we got getting both our guys as late as we did. Definitely 2 pillars to build our team around.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    I can’t wait until the next Nieuwendyk (Jankowski) starts playing for the Flames!!!!

    (Ah, that snow storm….. How lucky we were that took place)

    WW

    • In this exercise, Kent brings all the players into the current era where the average goals per game is lower, whereas it looks like Haynes put everyone into Nieuwendyk’s era.

      Hence why in this article, Johnny’s 100 points in 115 games stays the same, and Joe’s 87 games stays the same in Darren’s piece.

      It’s essentially just reversing what player gets slotted into what era.

    • Also, Kent uses league wide scoring average, whereas Darren uses just the scoring average of the Flames teams.

      Don’t think one is better than the other (though Darren seems to have put just a little more work into his), rather each just confirms the other.

  • MattyFranchise

    All good points. However, the clutching and grabbing on elite players was at an all-time high so the modern players definately benefit from less obstruction. That hook on Johnny yesterday would never had been called in the 80s.
    The scary thing about Johnny’s performance is that he is not getting a lot of his points on the PP or empty nets which could easily put him at a point per game. But the biggest difference which was pointed out is the lack of surrounding talent.

    One of the things that is often overlooked when talking about Johnny is that he is not afraid to throw a hit when needed and go to the danger areas…he is far from a peripheral player. He won a battle against Buff along the boards yesterday which typically does not happen. He also does not get under players skin like a Marchant so players don’t seem to try and run him. I am sure part of the reason they also don’t run him is he can make you look really silly…when you miss.

    • MattyFranchise

      The clutching and grabbing reached its pinnacle from about 97 to 2004. The goalies in the 80’s were on average much smaller than today’s, and they wore much smaller equipment, so any additional penalty calls today should be a wash. At least players back in the 80’s weren’t shooting at a piece of plywood that also had the presence of mind to move out and cut down angles.

      • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

        In the 80’s we used sticks where if you aimed for the corner, you were just as likely to hit the corner of the rink as you were to hit the corner of the net.

        The modern day NHL is about as physical as the NBA, maybe.

        You can’t compare eras, because everything changes, training methods, equipment, nutrition etc…

        So don’t even try…

        • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

          That is the most ridiculous argument one could make. If the sticks were so bad, why were the shooting percentages so much higher than today? I am not going to argue this any further. Kent just finished writing an article on how much harder it is to score goals in today’s league, and you are telling me you would hit the corner of the rink while shooting at the net? Okay, tell Al MacInnis that.

  • KACaribou

    Not sure how Kent Nilsson isn’t on the list.

    His first season with the Flames he had 131 points in 80 games. His second season in Calgary he only was able to play 41 games but compiled another 55 points.

    Not sure what he had at 100 games but at 121 he had 186 points.

    Kent likely had 100 points in just over 60 games with the Flames.

    I suggest you can use all the math you want, and Johnny Hockey still could not beat out The Magic Man.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      It’s a good point, but I think the above list are Flames draft picks. I thought that they didn’t count him, because he was in the WHA before he played for the Flames (originally in Atlanta). Incidentally, he scored 107 pts in 80 games there too.

      Say what you will of the era, but Kent Nilson was an incredibly gifted player.

      • KACaribou

        Thanks, you may be right but I couldn’t figure out how Sergei Makarov was included considering he was likely 30 when he started with the Flames after starring on the KLM line in the Soviet Union for years.

    • supra steve

      Nilsson’s first NHL season was in Atlanta, 80 games and 93 points. Then he followed that with his 131 point season in Calgary. He definitely reached 100 NHL points quicker than JG.

      He had previously logged 158 WHL games with the Jets and scored 214 points in that league.

    • supra steve

      Darren Haynes on Flames from 80 Feet Above did include him in his post regarding this same topic. Gaudreau was just a few games (3 or 4 iirc) behind Kent after era-adjustment.

  • beloch

    Makarov’s Calder winning “rookie” year always cracks me up. He was 31 and a veteran of the Red Army team during the era when it was basically 365 days a year of non-stop training. They sometimes didn’t let those guys out of camp (they lived in a training facility) to attend their own parents’ funerals! Imagine a guy fresh out of a Rocky IV style soviet training camp going up against Johnny Hockey and losing. That’s just flabbergasting.

    • KACaribou

      I give you credit my friend, how you made it past Rocky II and III to get to a IV reference is pretty impressive.

      I will suggest the Flames did not get the best years of the great Makarov. In his early – mid 20s he was pretty amazing.

      May still be the best stick handler I ever saw on the Flames including Johnny Hockey and that is really saying something if I am not misremembering.

    • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

      I Coached an U18 team at the World championships in Bulgaria 10 years ago. We had a 10 day camp in Kiev, and stayed at one of the old school Soviet facilities which was pretty cool in 2005, but would have been pretty foreboding in the Soviet era. It was basically exactly what you would expect. 10 foot fence around the compound with razor wire at the top, bare bones facilities, Hostel style rooms with a single bed and no TV’s or anything. There was a statue of Lenin outside the building and it was out in the forest about 3 miles from the nearest sign of life.

      My Assistant was from the Ukraine, and played for the Sokol Kiev team growing up, (with Dimitri Kristich among others). They were telling me about staying in this camp and sneaking out at night all the time, and how basically they got up at 5, and were given PT, then Breakfast, then they would pile on the bus and head to the rink for practice. After Practice they got fed again and then went back to the camp for “school” for 6 hours. Then they would either have another PT session and practice or a game , before repeating everything the next day.

      He was from Kiev, and as soon as they hit 10 years old and showed enough promise they got sent away to this camp at no cost to the parents. This happened all over the Soviet Union at the time. No wonder they were so good, and Makarov was good. He is in my top 5 RW ever.

      The thing I like about Johnny is just how much he enjoys the game, it is easy to see just by the look on his face.

  • Truculence

    You also can’t compare different forward positions. Nieuwendyk was a center with a lot more defensive responsibilities than a scoring winger. I mean, nobody ever claimed in the early nineties that Pavel Bure had the same two-way significance in deciding a game as Nieuwendyk or other elite two-way centers.

  • Kevin R

    Wahh Wahh wahhhhh wahhhhh

    We have to pay Johnny a lot of money cuz he’s one of the best players in the game..wahhhhh wahhhhh wahhhhh Wahh life sucks. I’m so ungrateful wahhhhh

    What a joke. You don’t like having to pay Johnny? Go cheer for someone else. Sounds like people that have never bought anything of any value in their life. Newsflash..when you buy something of high quality it usually costs you money. If all you’ve ever bought are knockoffs and bargain bin specials than yeah it doesn’t cost you anything.

    Rant over. Enjoy Johnny..Jesus

    • Kevin R

      Literally nobody in these comments, nor the article, is complaining about paying Johnny.

      So congrats on ranting and getting your little panties in a bunch for nothing.

  • Kevin R

    Kent,

    Some years ago when I came across this site I was skeptical of advanced stats. It wasn’t until your draft analysis that I started to really appreciate how these stats can be another very important source of information. I think that you had flagged Geaudreau as a player to take a shot at in your draft primer. You also praised the selection early and predicted NHL success very accurately. I believe that you had made similar predictions about Brodie way back when. You also were pretty down on Kanzig as a draft pick and while it’s still early you seem to be pretty successful using stats to predict players trajectory. Similarly you were touting functional toughness as the future and low and behold the game has evolved. Thanks for making me a better educated hockey fan. I always really appreciate your work!