One of the craziest stories of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals comes at the hands of Fredrick Gaudreau.
Now who’s this fella you might ask?
Freddie Hockey scores big time goals. Freddie Hockey is a battler, and Freddie Hockey is living the underdog’s dream. We may have our own Rudy in hockey with Gaudreau blasting game winning goals every other night.
As of now, Gaudreau has recorded his only 3 goals in the NHL in the Stanley Cup Final. Talk about showing up when it matters. He is such a depth player in the Predators roster, they didn’t even have a space for him in the locker room.
Gaudreau has already stated “I’d sit on the floor if I needed to. I’m just happy to be here”
But his extraordinary story begins years before this Cup Final.
Undrafted out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Gaudreau signed his first professional contract with the Milwaukee Admirals in 2014. His strong play there, along with a good performance during a 14-game loan in the ECHL earned the Quebec native another year in the AHL. Some might say that alone is a great hockey story. That being said, he went undrafted into junior as a 16 year old and battled his way into the Q, as a scrappy, smart goalscorer.
It was in his second season in Milwaukee where Gaudreau would open eyes, and truly begin the Rudy story. Midway through a campaign that would see him record 15 goals and 42 points in 75 games, he signed an entry-level deal with the Predators. He was given a shot in training camp this past September, but again found himself in the AHL, still working to get his NHL opportunity.
Gaudreau would get his first NHL chance in October during a game, ironically against the Penguins. He’d get eight more shots over the following two and a half months before getting sent back to Milwaukee where he would find himself waiting again to get the call.
Freddie Hockey earned his keep against the Ducks, as he was called up as a depth forward option. Now against the Penguins he has pulled a Matt Murray on Matt Murray. His play out of nowhere in the Cup Final has allowed the Preds to absolutely rebound in the series.
Recording the Game Winning Goal in both of Nashville’s wins at home, Freddie Hockey is sitting 8th in Preds Goal scoring, and is averaging .5 points per game.
He has averaged about 11 minutes of ice time in the playoffs thus far, and has contributed way beyond his minutes in this series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
While he is shooting at an EXTREMELY unsustainable rate (75%, with the nearest player on the Preds shooting 23%) his story is truly remarkable.
As of now, the young player is all smiles, and we’re all happy he’s with the Preds this series.