Johnny Gaudreau spent time after Thursday's session at Calgary Flames development camp signing team merchandise for fans. The question is, when will the 19-year-old forward put his name on a professional contract?
Gaudreau, the Flames' fourth-round pick (No. 104) in the 2011 NHL Draft, has committed to spending a third season at Boston College. Nicknamed "Johnny Hockey," he was named Hockey East Player of the Year, a First-Team All-American and a Hobey Baker finalist last season after scoring 21 goals and finishing with 51 points despite a midseason break during which he scored seven goals to lead the United States to a gold medal at the World Junior Championship.
Gaudreau is an offensive dynamo, but he's also 5-foot-8 and 155 pounds, and a big part of his decision to return to college was the need to add size and strength. But if he decides to play a fourth season at BC, he could opt to become a free agent in the summer of 2015 and sign with any NHL team. Despite his size, Gaudreau would figure to draw plenty of interest.