Congratulations to Boston College hockey legend and 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner Johnny Gaudreau, and 2014 senior captain Pat Brown: both have made it on to their respective NHL teams' opening night rosters.
While Gaudreau's spot with the Calgary Flames is not a huge surprise given the hype surrounding him this summer, it's a rewarding moment for the dynamic forward after likely listening to a lifetime of questions about whether his size would keep him out of the NHL. Not only did Gaudreau make the roster, but he was given his old BC jersey number, #13.
Gaudreau's professional career has been brief, but successful. In his NHL debut back in April, Gaudreau scored his first NHL goal against the Vancouver Canucks. Returning to Calgary for his first full training camp, Gaudreau put up a goal and three assists in 6 preseason games. Today, he officially made the opening night lineup, and will play tomorrow night against the same Vancouver Canucks to open up his rookie season.
Patrick Brown was more of a long shot to make the NHL roster with the Carolina Hurricanes, but anyone familiar with the way he progressed through four years at BC was not surprised to see that Brown defied expectations and impressed throughout Carolina's preseason. Brown was initially one of Carolina's final cuts, but after Hurricanes star Jeff Skinner was ruled out for the start of the year with a concussion, he was recalled from the Charlotte Checkers. Carolina's first game is Friday night at home against the Islanders.
In other Eagles in the NHL news:
Bill Arnold will not be joining Gaudreau with Calgary to start the season; he'll begin his year with the Adirondack Flames.
As we tweeted out earlier, fellow short BC legend Brian Gionta was named captain of the Buffalo Sabres.
Fellow short BC legend (noticing a trend here?) and should-have-been Hobey Baker winner Nathan Gerbe will start the season on the Carolina Hurricanes' second line, reports NHL.com and Rotowire.
And Scott Clemmensen won the New Jersey Devils backup goalie job, where he'll be backing up...Cory Schneider. Pretty sweet.
The NHL season begins tomorrow night, and there are too many BC alums in the league now to properly track all their comings and goings, but we'll do our best.