Frozen Pool Forensics: Johnny Gaudreau

by Cam Robinson on January 1, 2016

Johnny Gaudreau has gone supernova but can he sustain it?

Happy 2016 everyone! I hope you all got to experience your perfect midnight, and with the Winter Classic on tap and hangovers on the mind, I’ll keep this brief.

Let’s talk about Johnny Gaudreau for a minute. The list of guys who have stepped into the NHL fresh out of college hockey and produced at a high rate is short. Speaking of short, being 5’9 surely isn’t going to help, but that hasn’t slowed the Calgary Flames’ winger from rocketing up the scoring lists in his second full season in the league.

To his credit, Gaudreau owns a Hobey Baker Award, a NCAA Championship, a Calder Trophy nomination and now, a spot amongst the league’s point leaders. To date, Gaudreau sits tied for sixth in NHL scoring with Russian super-sniper, Vladimir Tarasenko. While the two young stars both sit with 39 points, Gaudreau leads the way in even-strength scoring – 32 compared to Tarasenko’s 27. This can be attributed to two things.

Firstly, Gaudreau has been the benefactor of a consistent and competent centre in Sean Monahan. The two have formed a potent combination and seldom see the ice away from one another, as we can see by using Dobber's Frozen Pool Line Mate Tool.



Line Combination






















Secondly, Gaudreau’s even-strength production is boosted thanks in part to the wonders of three-on-three overtime. Johnny Hockey has scored five game-winners this season – three of which have come during the newly-formatted overtime frame. These overtime heroics have added a splash of whimsy to an already spectacular first half for the Boston College alum.

What can we expect from the Flames’ sophomore as the calendar passes over to 2016? Well, his five-on-five shooting percentage sits at a reasonable 10.3 percent. His personal shooting percentage is about three percent higher than last season – hovering around the 17 percent mark. This number is not unsustainable judging by the precision in which Gaudreau fires the puck. Notable scoring wingers will often hold above-15 percent shooting averages – Joe Pavelski, Patrick Kane and Mike Hoffman all sit in and around Gaudreau’s 17 percent this season.

To add credence to the prospect of sustainability, Gaudreau is also firing the puck at a much higher volume this season. Last year he scored 24 goals on 164 total shots; while so far this campaign he has scored 17 goals and has already put 100 pucks on net – pacing for 224.

Maintaining such a conversion rate, and of course health permitting, Gaudreau will earn himself his first 30 goal season and could even flirt with 40. Outside of long-time captain, Jarome Iginla, no Flame has recorded 40 or more goals in a season since Theo Fleury did so back in 1995-’96.

Fantasy owners are not afraid to lock Gaudreau into their lineups and nor is Flames’ bench boss, Bob Hartley, afraid to throw his number one offensive weapon onto the ice. This is witnessed by Gaudreau’s seeing over 20 minutes per contest (20:24 average) and three and a half minutes on the power play. With this much time on the ice with the man advantage, one can expect a boost to his special team production, as the Flames as a whole begin to climb out of that early season funk.

All this adds up to one result: This slight, slippery, offensive dynamo is just scratching the surface of his potential. He pulls off moves in tight that would make Pavel Datsyuk slightly nod in approval – Dats isn’t big on reactions – and he’s just recently crossed into the hundred games played club. Expect continued wizardry and high point totals for years to come.


Projected point-per-game pace for the remaining schedule: 0.9-1.2


Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on twitter @CrazyJoeDavola3