By: Chris SchaeferClaude Giroux is only in his 2nd NHL season and he’s already being talked about as the next Wayne Gretzky. He’s only 22 years old but he’s keeping up with his elders just fine.
After a poor preseason with the Flyers last season he was assigned to the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms. After being named the AHL’s player of the month in December, he was called up to the big club and hasn’t left since. He didn’t start the season with the Flyers but he finished it as the obvious MVP of the 2010 NHL playoffs for Philly’s squad by racking up 21 points. In fact, the Flyers wouldn’t have made it to the playoffs if he hadn’t scored the winning goal in a shootout vs. the New York Rangers helping them sneak into the playoffs on the last game of the regular season.
Claude doesn’t only score beautiful goals, but he scores goals when his team needs them the most. He scored the winning goal in overtime of game 3 in the Stanley Cup finals vs. Chicago, perhaps the biggest goal of his short career.
Watching him now, it’s hard to believe that he was the 22nd overall pick in the 2006 NHL entry draft. In this young season he has 6 goals, 3 assists and leads the league with 3 short-handed tallies all in just ten games. Two of those shorthanded goals came at the expense of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tonight he lit the lamp twice, one goal was short-handed and the other was on the power play.
His stick is lightning fast and when he skates end to end, it’s almost as if the other team is standing still. He has great reaction time and can fake out a goalie better than anyone else in the league.
Claude has the ability to take his game to the next level. He plays with grit and determination that will make him a Philly fan favorite in no time.
We could be looking at the next Wayne Gretzky.
This article was also published here: Bleacher Report