Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Johnny Gaudreau Jersey Card

(As per years past, this is a twin-post with my "regular" blog, where I predicted the Calgary Flames would finish second in the Pacific Division in 2019-20).

Back when he was nicknamed "Johnny Hockey", Johnny Gaudreau was already a force among players in his age range, winning the USHL championship with the Dubuque Fighting Saints and being named the league's Rookie of the Year, which led to his bring drafted 104th overall by the Calgary Flames.

He then did even better with the Boston College Eagles, leading all rookie with 44 points in 44 games and helping his team win the National Championship, scoring a highlight-reel goal in the final game and earning MVP honours while he was at it, a title he also won when BC won the Beantown Tournament (for the third year in a row).

He improved on those totals by posting 51 points in 35 games in his sophomore season, but his team failed to win NCAA titles, although it did win another Beantown Tournament. Gaudreau himself got a Player Of The Year award and added a World Juniors gold medal to his resume over the Holiday period, however, as Team USA beat Team Sweden in Ufa, Russia.

His third season at BC came with another Player Of The Year award, with 80 points in 40 games, earning the coveted Hobey Baker Award.

Upon making the move to the NHL,m he scored in his first game on his first shot, and played in the All-Star Game while he was at it, recording two assists. He finished third in Calder Trophy voting, behind Aaron Ekblad and Mark Stone.

His career trajectory has been upwards almost without fault, with seasons of 64, 78, 61, 84, and 99 points; that 61-point outlier includes 10 games missed dur to finger surgery and four months of playing through pain resulting from one too many slashes to the hands, a situation decried by Calgary brass at the time, who felt - with reason - like too many adversaries were given too many liberties in hindering their star player's talent.

The only thing missing in his case is to keep on producing in the playoffs, as his Flames were too easily in 2016-17 (4 games) and 2018-19 (5 games), during which he only totalled 3 points.

Here he is sporting the Flames' red (home) uniform, on card #GJ-JG from Upper Deck's 2018-19 Series 1 set and UD Game Jersey sub-set:
It features a yellow game-worn jersey swatch, a colour that is not dominant in any of Calgary's three uniforms, so it's a tad rare. I got it in a trade earlier this summer, giving away five jersey cards for it.

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