Boston College junior winger and Hobey Baker winner Johnny Gaudreau has signed an entry-level contract with the Calgary Flames.
Gaudreau did just about everything a player can do at the NCAA level. He scored 175 points in 119 games with the Eagles, including becoming the first player in over a decade to score 80 points in a single season this year. He was as dominant a player as college hockey has seen in a number of years.
The real question is if Gaudreau will be able translate his success at the collegiate level to the pros. SBN College Hockey's Evan Sporer took a closer look at Gaudreau's pro potential, and the uphill battle that players like him face.
Winning the Hobey Baker isn't really an indicator of future professional success, though the track record of drafted players like Gaudreau is much better than some of the older, undrafted free agents that have taken home the award.
The obvious comparison for a player like Gaudreau is the similarly undersized Martin St. Louis, who has had a Hall-of-Fame-worthy career despite being an small player that played NCAA hockey. Though that may not be the correct comparison. They're about the same height, but Gaudreau is only about as thick as one of the St. Louis' legs.
Earlier this year, we ranked Gaudreau as #14 on our list of the Top 100 NHL Prospects in College Hockey:
Johnny Gaudreau will win the Hobey Baker Award this season for the top college hockey player in the country. A supremely skilled and intelligent forward, Gaudreau is currently riding a 29-game point streak, and is scoring at unholy clips. But the 5-foot-7 forward will constantly be questioned for his size when the conversation shifts to his NHL prospects, despite his supreme hockey IQ and creativity. He’s an inch shorter than Martin St. Louis, and is exceptional at creating chances for himself or a teammate.
Gaudreau is expected to join the Flames immediately, leaving Philadelphia tonight to join the Flames for their final regular season game on Sunday.