#1 Johnny Gaudreau
Team: Calgary Flames
Drafted: 104th Overall in 2011 (Round 4)
You do not need to be a wizard to have foreseen who would be at the top of this list. Coming in at #1 is the Flames star left-winger, Johnny Gaudreau.
The legend of Gaudreau continually grows. It started off with the Flames drafting some guy that weighed 137 pounds in the 4th round of the 2011 draft. Intriguing that day if you looked at his height and weight, but maybe you are a wizard if you knew what he would accomplish in the future. He was worth a shot at the time to the Flames organization in the 4th round, if the 2011 draft was redone today there is no doubt he would have been selected 1st overall.
He went to Boston College and immediately put up a point-per-game as a rookie. The nickname “Johnny Hockey” was born. He followed it up by scoring more in fewer games the following season, and went off to the World Junior Championship and led the United States to the gold medal. Gaudreau went back for one final NCAA season, where he tore up college hockey by putting up 80 points in 40 games. He then signed a deal with the Calgary Flames, making his NHL debut in the 2013-14-season finale, scoring in his first game. Since then he has had nothing but success in the NHL.
The level of dominance that Johnny Gaudreau has exerted in his short time in the NHL is really something special to behold. Here is a guy that just turned 23, and is allegedly 5’9”, 157 lbs. Here is a guy that in his second season finished 6th in NHL scoring. The five players ahead of him were Patrick Kane, Jamie Benn, Sidney Crosby, Joe Thornton and Erik Karlsson. Johnny Gaudreau is in elite territory there, not to mention the fact that all of those players are older than him, played on better teams, and have years of experience in the NHL. That is pretty solid value for a 104th overall pick.
As Flames fans, we are very privileged to be able to watch Gaudreau do his thing on a nightly basis. The skill level that the guy has to pull off some of the moves he makes is unfathomable. He is the MVP of the Flames already; he has singlehandedly won them games on many occasions. Could you imagine how paltry the Flames offense would be if you removed Gaudreau from the equation? It would not be pretty. Yes, no matter how you look at it, Johnny Gaudreau is rightfully #1 on our Top 25 Under 25. Get him signed BT, I want to watch this guy work his magic for the next 8 years.