May 5, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) skates against the Anaheim Ducks during the overtime period in game three of the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
9. Johnny Gaudreau
Nobody came onto the scene this season quite like “Johnny Hockey,” and he was just too exciting to leave off this list. The baby-faced sniper scored 24 goals with 40 assists to finish second on the team in scoring in his rookie season.
Gaudreau pretty much came out of nowhere this season. The fourth-round pick can score from anywhere on the ice and is also an electric playmaker. He was a big reason Calgary made a surprising run to the postseason and created a ton of buzz around the league for what was a downtrodden Flames organization. He also contributed nine points in 11 postseason games.
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Gaudreau didn’t win the Calder Trophy for the league’s rookie of the year. As a matter of fact, he actually finished third behind Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers and Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators.
The sky is the limit for Gaudreau. The Flames are not an overly deep team, which means Gaudreau should get plenty of ice time on the first line alongside Jiri Hudler, who set career highs in goals, assists and points last season. Gaudreau should only get better in his second season and could be in the discussion as a Hart Memorial Trophy finalist in a few years.
Next: No. 8: Zach Parise
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