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USHL Alums Remain Teammates for NHL Debuts

04/14/2014, 10:00am CDT
By bwerger

College hockey teammates become NHL teammates

It was a big weekend for USHL alums Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold who both signed NHL contracts on Friday and made their debuts with the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Gaudreau and Arnold, who were teammates at Boston College, played on the same line in Sunday’s game for the Flames against the Vancouver Canucks.  Gaudreau logged 15:11 minutes of ice time and scored his first NHL goal on his first shot.  It would be the lone goal for the Flames in the 5-1 loss.  Arnold played 13:35 of ice time, dished out one hit, and won five of his nine faceoff attempts. 

Gaudreau, 20, signed a three-year NHL entry-level contract after playing three seasons at Boston College.  He was named the winner of the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player on Friday.  He led the NCAA in scoring with 80 points (36g, 44a) over 40 games and led his team to the Frozen Four.  Over his three years playing college hockey, he produced 175 points (78g, 97a) in 119 games and was a teammate of Arnold on the 2012 NCAA championship team.

The Carneys Point, New Jersey native was USHL Rookie of the Year in 2010-11 after being fourth in USHL scoring with 72 points (36g, 36a) in 60 regular season games for the Dubuque Fighting Saints.  He also led the team in playoff scoring with 11 points (5g, 6a) to help them capture the Clark Cup title.  Gaudreau was then selected by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round (104th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.

USHL stats – Johnny Gaudreau

Arnold, 21, signed a two-year NHL entry-level contract after completing a four-year career at Boston College with 144 points (58g, 86a) in 159 games.  He totaled 53 points (14g, 39a) over 40 games as a senior this year, tying for second in the nation with 39 assists. 

The Needham, Massachusetts native spent the 2009-10 season in the USHL with Team USA and recorded 23 points (8g, 15a) and a plus-15 rating over 26 USHL contests with the Under-18 squad.  He put up 11 points (5g, 6a) and a plus-10 rating over his last eight games in the League.  Arnold also helped Team USA win gold at the 2010 IIHF World Under-18 Championship before going on to be selected by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.

USHL stats – Bill Arnold

Notes: Two other USHL alumni were in the lineup on Sunday for the Calgary Flames, joining Gaudreau and Arnold for their NHL debuts - defensemen Chris Butler (Sioux City Musketeers, 2003-05) and Chad Billins (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2007-08)

Video - John Gaudreau scores first NHL goal

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14.  A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (, twitter (, and YouTube (  Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (

It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.

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