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With next to nothing happening in the hockey world this month, I thought this would be as good of a time as any to profile members of the Calgary Flames.
I'll be commenting on their performances last season as well as projected role and expectations moving forward. I've profiled eight Flames thus far, with Andrew Mangiapane being the most recent
Today we're going to take a closer look at Johnny Gaudreau.
82 games played, 99 points (36 goals, 63 assists), 20:04 average time on ice
2.84 points/60, +0.97 CF% Rel, +0.81 GF% Rel, +1.56 xGF% Rel, 1.011 PDO
Calgary had an extremely prolific offense last season – only Tampa Bay scored more goals – and it was Johnny Gaudreau leading the way. He ranked 1st on the team in goals, assists, points, and shots despite getting special attention from opponents on a nightly basis. Obviously any talented player logging 20+ minutes a night is going to produce but Gaudreau was very efficient. He finished atop the Flames in goals/60, assists/60 and points/60 at 5v5. League-wide, only five players recorded more points/60 than Gaudreau. On top of the production, Gaudreau managed to post positive relative numbers across the board. Teams that win conferences tend to be pretty good (shocker!) so helping drive results – while facing top competition and playing with a center who went MIA for a couple of months – is not an easy thing to do. There's a high bar to clear and Gaudreau did it.
While Gaudreau finished 6th in points/60 at 5v5, no Western Conference player found the scoresheet at a higher rate. Yes, Gaudreau (2.84 points/60) even bested Connor McDavid (2.82 points/60).
Gaudreau is barely 26 years old, his linemates Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm are still around and in their primes, PP1 is stacked and, as a whole, the Flames are bringing back every key member of last season's team. The supporting cast is there to maximize his talents.
If Gaudreau stays healthy, which has not been an issue for him thus far, there is no reason he can't comfortably clear 80 points and even end up in the 90-100 range. Should that be the case, I expect him to at least be in the conversation for a Hart Trophy.
numbers via naturalstattrick.com and hockey-reference.com
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