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Flames Best #13 Of All Time: Johnny Gaudreau

In a short time Gaudreau is EASILY the best Flames player to ever sport the #13.



The Flames aren’t the Montreal Canadiens, but nor are they the Vegas Golden Knights when it comes to how long they’ve been a franchise. But for a team (both Atlanta and Calgary) that’s been in the NHL for 48 years, only six players have worn the #13 in Flames history. That’s a small number of players for a digit in the low teens. When you break them down, there were three candidates for the best player to wear this number, but only one is really good enough to take that title. And that player is Johnny Gaudreau (and I’m a HUGE German Titov fan).

Gaudreau was drafted by the Flames in 2011 in the 4th round of the NHL Draft and let’s face it, you aren’t betting on the #104 pick to be a difference maker, but that’s exactly what Gaudreau has been for the Flames. Heck, he scored a goal in his first ever NHL game in the Flames final game of the 2013-14 season after signing a contract and getting on a plane and flying to Vancouver. That’s how you start a career!

From that jumping off point Gaudreau quickly became one of the Flames’ and the NHL’s most exciting players. The NJ product put up 64 points in his first full season and has only been below 60 one time since. His 99 points in 2018-19 was his watershed season and unfortunately for him has sent point expectations from the fans through the roof. His 2019-20 season was a step back after such a prolific scoring outburst, as he only scored 18 goals and dished out 40 assists in the Covid-19 shortened season of 70 games. But in his defence, ALL the Flames, outside of Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm took a step back last season.

Where Gaudreau takes his biggest hits from the fan base is his lack of physicality and his playoff disappearances. Hits aren’t something that a player like Gaudreau hangs his hat on, but it will be pointed out by those that want him to play an all around game that he has 78 hits in seven seasons. Make of that what you will, doesn’t bother me.

However, his playoff numbers are a concern. The Flames have made the playoffs (with not so good results) in four of Gaudreau’s seven seasons and he has 19 points to show for it in 30 games played. Not great, not horrific, but when you look at the fact that he has nine of those in the 2014-15 playoffs, you can see people’s concerns. But I’ll flip that and say in the 2019-20 playoffs, in the oddest hockey year ANYONE can EVER remember, he had four goals and three assists in 10 games. So there’s that side of the coin.

But what you can’t deny is what Johnny Gaudreau has done in a very short time with the Flames. He’s 10th all time in Flames history in assists (294). 8th in GWG with 27. 10th in hat tricks with 5 and he’s five points out of being in the Flames top 10 in points. He’s also been an NHL All Star in five straight seasons (2015-19) and won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner in 2016-17. If Gaudreau returns to form he will no doubt be a huge help to getting the Flames back to the playoffs and he will certainly make his mark on the Flames record books when all is said and done.

Other Players Having Worn #13 In Flames History

Martin Simard (1991-92), Shawn Heaphy (1993), German Titov (1994-98), Mike Cammalleri (2009-14), Olli Jokinen (2011-12)

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by Mark Parkinson