Meet your new hockey Eagles: John Gaudreau


This new 2011-2012 Eagles hockey team – ranked #5 in the country in the preseason and picked to win Hockey East, by the way – has plenty of young talent coming in because of the large amount of turnover from last season. One of the names that Boston College hockey fans have heard the most is that of Johnny Gaudreau, #13, today’s featured freshman. It goes without saying that he is one of the top prospects joining this Eagles team for 2011-2012, if not the top prospect.

This New Jerseyan forward who most recently played at Dubuque Senior High School in Iowa may look young for his age, but don’t let it fool you: he’s a talented hockey player. In April, Gaudreau was named the United States Hockey League (USHL) Rookie of the Year. In that season, he scored 36 goals, which was good for second in the league, and netted 72 points, fourth in the whole USHL. In fact, if you want to know what kind of talent AND luck he has, Gaudreau scored a goal on his first shot in the league last October. His outstanding performance last season helped the Fighting Saints win a league title.

Upon receiving this Rookie of the Year Award, the league’s commissioner, Skip Prince, said this of him:

"“I join all the League’s General Managers in congratulating John on one of the best rookie years we’ve seen in the USHL in quite a while,”"

emphasis mine.

Gaudreau is the property of the Calgary Flames (he was taken in the 4th round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft), but he was not always on track to go to Boston College. He had originally been committed to Northeastern University, but when Greg Cronin got the heave-ho by the Huskies, Gaudreau decided to take his talents a few miles to the west in Chestnut Hill.

His scouting report, simply put, is impressive. Gaudreau’s size is considered to be a liability by scouts, specifically in terms of his future career hopes, but I seem to remember a player named Nate Gerbe who was even shorter (5-5) and not too much heavier (his senior year, he was listed at 165). If he bulks up, he can get himself in shape to play professionally down the road, but as is the case now, Gaudreau’s talent makes up for his size. He’s got what appears to be the kind of explosive scoring ability that the Eagles will miss with the departure of Cam Atkinson, and even though he is a freshman, Eagles fans can expect him to make an impact this season.