Well, not THAT Gaudreau. And, not technically IN their organization. Matt Gaudreau, younger brother of Calgary Flames superstar Johnny Gaudreau, is currently on loan to the Reading Royals, the ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.
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Last August, Matt signed a one-year, two-way contract between the AHL and the ECHL with the Calgary Flames’ organization. For those that do not know, such a contract grants a player the ability to play in either league, but requires he sign a new contract in order to play in the NHL. Players on these contracts are also eligible to be loaned to different teams.
This is what happened to Gaudreau. Despite signing with the Flames’ organization, he began the year on loan to the Flyers’ ECHL affiliate, the Royals. He got off to a hot start with the Royals, and by mid-November, he was tied for fourth in the ECHL in points and was tied for the league lead in plus/minus.
Following this hot start, Matt was recalled to the Stockton Heat, the Flames’ AHL affiliate. He lasted just four games there and failed to register any points. Following this disappointing stretch, he was quickly returned to Reading where he continued to dominate.
Prior to the ECHL canceling the remainder of its season, Gaudreau had registered 11 goals and 29 assists in 38 games. His 1.05 points per game rate led the team. He was also a plus-13, good for third-highest on the team.
Will Gaudreau Ever Wear the Orange and Black?
Gaudreau still has a long way to go if he hopes to play in the NHL. Despite tearing through the ECHL this season, he has failed to achieve much success at a higher level.
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He disappointed in Stockton this season with no points in four games. He also played parts of his previous two seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders, but he was not much better there. Across the two seasons, Gaudreau played 17 games with the Sound Tigers and recorded just five points.
Nonetheless, thanks to his success in Reading, he has likely bought another chance to prove himself. He had just a one-year contract, but at just 25 years of age and coming off a strong season, he should get a new contract.
It is possible that the Flames will try to sign him to their AHL affiliate again; however, it is also possible that he will sign with a different team. Should this happen, the Flyers have a good shot to land him.
Given that he spent the majority of his season with the Royals, Gaudreau is already familiar with the Flyer organization. Meanwhile, the coaches in Reading have had the chance to evaluate him, and he will now surely be on the Flyers’ radar.
No matter where Gaudreau ultimately signs, he is at least a couple of years away from making it to the NHL. Furthermore, if he does make, he probably will not achieve the same success as his older brother. Consider that in his final season at Boston College, Johnny recorded 80 points in 40 games. In comparison, Matt recorded just 35 points in 40 games during his final season at Boston College.
Regardless, if Matt were to be even half as successful as Johnny has been in the NHL, he would still be a productive player. He has a lot of work to do, but should he ultimately get a chance to play in the NHL, hopefully, it will be here in Philadelphia.