Of course, there was no question.
There were no other options.
Johnny Gaudreau was, indisputably, the best player in the entire NHL throughout all of December. Accordingly, he has been named the NHL’s first star of the month.
Through 13 games in December, Gaudreau scored 12 goals – including two hat tricks – and 18 points. That’s a 1.38 point per game pace, which would translate to 114 points over a full 82 game season if he could keep it up over the course of a full season. Which he probably can’t.
… Yet? This is only his second season, after all, so who knows what he’s really capable of?
Giordano on Gaudreau: “When a guy like that is feeling confident there’s no ceiling, really. He’s right up there with anyone in the league.”
— Aaron Vickers (@AAVickers) January 4, 2016
Okay, but still, probably not quite that. But being able to score that much over the course of an entire month is impressive. He helped the Flames to a 9-4 record over the month, scoring in all but one of their wins; accordingly, Gaudreau was held pointless in all but one of the Flames’ losses.
If the Flames are going to have success, they need Johnny.
But back to those hat tricks. Gaudreau is the first Flame since Jarome Iginla to score two hat tricks in one month, dating all the way back to February of 2003. He had two two-goal games in December as well, so there could have been more. Maybe next year?
Gaudreau was the NHL’s rookie of the month in December 2014, his first honouring – and when he scored his first hat trick – so really, who knows just how high he can soar. He does seem to love December, though.
Despite failing to score thus far in January, Gaudreau leads the Flames with 17 goals and 39 points over 38 games this season. He currently sits at eighth in overall NHL scoring, and has 104 career points in 119 games, so it’s clear he’s a very, very special player, and one who will probably win many more “NHL Star of the Month” awards to come.
He’s becoming a bonafide year-round star, after all.