For Johnny Gaudreau, the second time’s the charm. A year ago, Gaudreau headed to Pittsburgh as a Hobey Hat Trick finalist with 21 goals and 30 assists in his pocket, and an outside shot at winning the Heisman Trophy of college hockey.
St. Cloud State’s Drew LeBlanc took home the hardware last season, but this year, Gaudreau got redemption.
On Friday evening at the Loews Hotel Millennium Ballroom in Philadelphia, PA, Gaudreau became the third player in Boston College history to win the Hobey Baker Award, carrying on the legacy of previous BC winners David Emma and Mike Mottau. The catalytic 5-foot-8, 155-pound forward was a favorite heading into the season, and his 36-goal, 44-assist, 80-point junior campaign made him the nearly unavoidable choice for the award.
Gaudreau beat St. Lawrence University senior forward Greg Carey and St. Cloud State University senior forward Nic Dowd for the Hobey, which is presented annually to the top player in Division I college hockey. The award is the latest and greatest piece in Gaudreau’s 2013-14 hardware collection, which includes the Walter Brown Award, the New England MVP, MVP of the Northeast Regional, and the Hockey East Player of the Year honor.
The news of the award was coupled with the announcement that Gaudreau’s college hockey days are over. Gaudreau, along with his senior linemate and friend Bill Arnold, signed a deal with Calgary and flew to Vancouver to join the Flames in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Canucks. Gaudreau signed a three-year entry level two-way contract with an annual base salary of $832,500, a yearly signing bonus of $92,500, and an Average Annual Value of $1,850,000, when performance bonuses are included.
Arnold’s deal is a two-year entry level two-way contract with an annual base salary of $810,000, a $90,000 yearly signing bonus, and an Average Annual Value of $900,000.
The teammates reunited on Calgary’s third line on Sunday night, playing the first period together before Gaudreau moved up the depth chart to the second line, scoring his first NHL goal after just 35:22 of play in his first game.
Gaudreau leaves BC with the third highest single season points total, and 78 goals and 98 assists for 176 points in his three-season career in Chestnut Hill. As a freshman, Gaudreau played a key role in BC’s 2012 National Championship victory, and the Eagles reached the NCAA Tournament in each of his three years at BC. Gaudreau’s junior season was highlighted by his first career hat trick in his third-to-last game as an Eagle and a 31-game point streak.