John Michael “Johnny” Gaudreau (born August 13, 1993) is an American professional ice hockey winger for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL). He played for the NCAA Division I‘s Boston College Eagles from 2011 to 2014. Gaudreau was selected by the Flames in the fourth round, 104th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Nicknamed “Johnny Hockey,” he was the 2014 winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in the NCAA, and, during his first full NHL season in 2014–15, he was selected to play in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game and was a Calder Memorial Trophy finalist for the NHL’s best rookie. He won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most gentlemanly player for the 2016–17 season.
Gaudreau was born in Salem, New Jersey, but grew up in Oldmans Township, New Jersey. As a youth, Gaudreau played for Penns Grove little league baseball, and played in the 2006 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a minor ice hockey team from Hershey, Pennsylvania. He attended Gloucester Catholic High School in Gloucester City, New Jersey, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. He graduated from Dubuque Senior High School in Dubuque, Iowa.
Gaudreau played the 2010–11 season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the United States Hockey League (USHL), where he played in the 2011 USHL All-Star Game and helped his team win the Clark Cup as the USHL champions. Gaudreau’s outstanding play during the season was rewarded with him being selected to the USHL All-Rookie Team and to the All-USHL Second Team. He was also recognized as the USHL Rookie of the Year.
After attending the Calgary Flames’ training camp ahead of the 2010–11 season, Gaudreau started his career in the NCAA with the Division I Boston College Eagles team in the Hockey East conference. He originally signed a Letter of Intent to play with Hockey East rival Northeastern University, but opted for Boston College when Northeastern Hockey head coach Greg Cronin resigned in June 2011 to take a position with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
As a freshman at Boston College, Gaudreau scored 21 goals and 23 assists (44 points) in 44 games, leading all freshmen in scoring. He played an integral part in Boston College’s win in the team’s National Championship, scoring a highlight-reel goal late in the third period in their 4–1 win in the final over Ferris State University. Gaudreau was awarded the Bill Flynn Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Hockey East Championship Tournament. He also helped the Eagles win the traditional Beanpot Tournament for the third year in a row and was named Beanpot MVP after the tournament.
In his sophomore campaign, Gaudreau emerged as the star of the team and improved upon his already impressive stats, achieving a 21–30–51 scoring line in 35 games, leading the nation in points per game, at 1.46. He then led the Eagles to a fourth consecutive Beanpot championship after helping to win a gold medal for the United States at the 2013 World Juniors. Despite losing to archrival Boston University in the Hockey East tournament semi-finals and bowing out of the NCAA tournament in the first round against Union College, he was awarded Hockey East Player of the Year and was named an ACHA First Team All-American for his tremendous offensive output. On April 3, 2013, Gaudreau was named one of the three finalists for the 2013 Hobey Baker Award, along with Eric Hartzell and Drew LeBlanc. St. Cloud State’s Drew LeBlanc eventually won the award.
Gaudreau opted to remain at Boston College for his junior year, despite rumors of him turning professional and joining the Calgary Flames. One of the main reasons he stayed, he claimed, was to play with his younger brother Matthew, who joined the team in the fall. Gaudreau’s decision to remain was fortunate for Boston College, as he dominated the NCAA in every major scoring category, scoring 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points in 40 games, a 2.00 point per game pace, the highest production by any player in the country since 2003. After a 5–4 Eagles loss to Holy Cross in November, Gaudreau was paired up with Bill Arnold and Kevin Hayes on a line, which quickly became collegiate hockey’s most offensively-potent line, producing 46 goals and 68 assists for 114 points as a trio. In addition, Gaudreau tied Paul Kariya‘s record for the Hockey East single season scoring streak at 31 games, scoring 29 goals and 61 points during the span. For his tremendous season, he was named the league’s Player of the Year for the second straight season, as well as the league’s scoring champion with 36 points in 20 games, and was named a unanimous First-Team All-Star. He was also named a Hobey Baker top ten finalist on March 20 and a top three “Hobey Hat Trick” finalist for the second-straight year on April 2.
Gaudreau entered the NHL on the same day of his receiving of the Hobey Baker award. On April 11, 2014, shortly after the ceremony, Gaudreau and Eagles’ teammate Bill Arnold signed entry-level contracts with the Calgary Flames, Arnold having been drafted by Calgary in 2010. Both made their NHL debut in the Flames’ final game of the 2013–14 season, against the Vancouver Canucks. Gaudreau scored the Flames’ only goal on his first shot of his first professional game.
To begin the 2014–15 season, Gaudreau earned a spot on the Flames’ roster to continue his NHL career. Starting off slowly, Gaudreau did not record a point until the sixth game of the year. However, he then heated up quickly, amassing 12 goals and 30 points through 37 games. He scored his first career NHL hat-trick against Jonathan Quick on December 22, 2014, in a 4–3 comeback win over the Los Angeles Kings, becoming the youngest Flames player to record a hat-trick since Joe Nieuwendyk in the 1987–88 season.
Gaudreau was selected to play in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio, on January 25, 2015, and participated in the Skills Competition, garnering attention with Jakub Voráček for their antics during the shootout challenge. The shootout move, which imitated the previous move performed by Ryan Johansen (who helped seven-year-old Cole Vogt, the son of Columbus Blue Jackets trainer Mike Vogt, score a goal on Corey Crawford) went viral. Voráček, who went immediately after Johansen, “helped” Gaudreau score a goal in the same manner as Johansen did with Vogt, making fun of Gaudreau’s size and youth, as his small stature in comparison to other NHLers lead some to believe he looks like a child. Gaudreau was originally named to the All-Star Skills Competition Rookie Team, limited to only the competition portion, but was promoted to the All-Star Game itself as a replacement to Sidney Crosby, who could not play due to injury. Gaudreau was named to Team Toews and recorded two assists in the game, both on goals scored by the Nashville Predators‘ Filip Forsberg.
On March 11, 2015, Gaudreau scored his 50th point of the season, becoming the first Flames rookie to reach the mark since Jarome Iginla in 1996–97. Gaudreau finished the regular season tied for the rookie scoring lead with Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators. Gaudreau had 24 goals and led all rookies with 40 assists, while Stone had 26 goals. He was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie, but the award went to Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers, with Gaudreau finishing third. He was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team for the 2014–15 season.
The 2015–16 season was a banner year for Gaudreau, as the sophomore set career highs in goals, assists and points en route to finishing tied for sixth among all NHL players in total points. For the second straight year, Gaudreau participated in the NHL All-Star Game, the 61st in NHL history. Gaudreau was selected as a finalist to be the All-Star Game MVP, an honor eventually given to controversial and unlikely write-in candidate John Scott. However, Gaudreau’s Flames failed to live up to high expectations bestowed upon them after their surprisingly successful 2014–15 season, finishing 26th in the NHL and missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.
Gaudreau missed the entirety of the Flames’ training camp due to a contract dispute. On October 10, 2016, two days before the Flames’ season opener, Gaudreau signed a six-year, $40.5 million contract worth $6.75 million annually. On November 16, 2016, in a game against the Minnesota Wild, Gaudreau suffered a finger fracture. He had surgery the following day. Despite speculation he would miss up to six weeks of the season, Gaudreau returned after ten games. Gaudreau finished the season with 61 points in 72 games, leading the Flames in scoring. Gaudreau also recorded two assists in four games during the team’s first round matchup against the Anaheim Ducks in the 2017 playoffs.
Gaudreau set a career high in points scored during the 2017–18 season, leading the Flames and finishing top-20 in the NHL with 84; his 60 assists finished within the top-10 for the category. He was named an NHL All-Star for the fourth consecutive year, but would not participate in the playoffs as the Flames came up short of a late-season push for the last wild card spot in the Western Conference.
Gaudreau finished with a career best 99 points as the Flames won the Pacific Division, and were the Western Conference’s top seed. However, in the first round of the playoffs, the Flames lost to the Colorado Avalanche; Gaudreau finished with one point in a 5-game loss.
|Representing United States|
|World Junior Championships|
In 2013, Gaudreau was selected to represent the United States in the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He led the entire tournament with seven goals and tied for the team lead with nine points, as the U.S. won the gold medal. Highlighted by a hat-trick in the quarter-finals against the Czech Republic and another two goals against Canada in the semi-finals, he was named to the tournament All-Star Team.
In 2014, Gaudreau was named to the senior United States team that played in the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Minsk, Belarus. He scored his first international goal as a professional in a pre-tournament game against Germany, scoring the second goal in a 3–1 victory. He scored in the first official game of the tournament, the third goal in a 5–1 victory over hosts Belarus. Although the U.S. bowed out of the tournament in a quarter-finals loss to the Czech Republic, Gaudreau finished the tournament tenth in scoring, with two goals and eight assists for ten points, including a four-point performance in a 5–4 win over Germany.
In 2016, Gaudreau joined Team North America for play at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, playing alongside other NHL stars from both the United States and Canada who were 23 years old and under at the time. He scored four points in three games, two goals and two assists.
In 2018, Gaudreau was named to the American squad to compete at the 2018 IIHF World Championship. He scored one goal and eight assists during the tournament en route to a bronze medal for the U.S.
Gaudreau’s younger brother Matthew is also a professional hockey player and currently plays on the Reading Royals of the ECHL. He previously played for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League (AHL) and their ECHL affiliate, the Worcester Railers. Gaudreau and his brother played together, at Boston College, during the 2013–14 season. His parents are Guy and Jane Gaudreau. Guy Gaudreau is a native of Beebe Plain, Vermont. He played college hockey at Norwich, after playing high school hockey at North Country Union High School, and was inducted into the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame. He settled in southern New Jersey and spent 11 years coaching hockey at Gloucester Catholic.
In January 2015, Gaudreau filed a trademark application for the nickname “Johnny Hockey” in both Canada and the U.S. because he was concerned people would abuse his nickname for their own marketing gain.
Regular season and playoffs
|2009–10||Team Comcast||Midget AAA||46||29||27||56||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Dubuque Fighting Saints||USHL||60||36||36||72||36||11||5||6||11||6|
|2016||Team North America||WCH||5th||3||2||2||4||0|
Awards and honors
|USHL Rookie of the Year||2011|||
|All-USHL Second Team||2011|||
|Bill Flynn Trophy – Hockey East Tournament Most Valuable Player||2012|||
|Hockey East All-Tournament Team||2012|||
|All-Hockey East Rookie Team||2012|||
|Hockey East Player of the Year||2013|||
|All-Hockey East First Team||2013|||
|AHCA East First-Team All-American||2013|||
|NCAA Hobey Hat Trick (Top 3) Finalist||2013|||
|Walter Brown Award Winner||2014|||
|Hockey East Player of the Year||2014|||
|All-Hockey East First Team||2014|||
|AHCA East First-Team All-American||2014|||
|Hobey Baker Award Winner||2014|||
|NHL All-Star Game||2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019|
|NHL All-Rookie Team||2015|||
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy||2017|||
|World Junior Ice Hockey Championships All-Star||2013|||