Sam Page
Thursday December 18th, 2014

Johnny Manziel, fresh off his abysmal debut as the Browns' starting quarterback, is the talk of the sports world and has been for some time, although not for all the right reasons, most recently a dust-up at a hotel in Cleveland. But there's a different rookie Johnny—this one in the NHL—who has actually generated discussion with his good play. Left wing Johnny Gaudreau, a.k.a. Johnny Hockey, is having a breakout season and has helped his Calgary Flames to a surprisingly decent start to the season. A standout at Boston College, Gaudreau shares a number of similarities and some very notable differences with his NFL nicknamesake.

Here are just a few in our Johnny Football/Johnny Hockey tale of the tape: 

(via) (via)
Gives hope to fanbase that hasn't seen a championship since 1964. Gives hope to fanbase that hasn't seen a championship since 1989.
KNACK: eluding defenders (below) eluding defenders (below)
IDOLIZED: NFL QBs Michael Vick and Brett Favre Diminutive (5'-8", 180) Tampa Bay Lightning star Martin St. Louis
WON: 2012 Heisman Trophy as the best college football player 2014 Hobey Baker Award as the best college hockey player
SCOUTS' TAKE: Ranked 10th best prospect in football before 2014 draft Ranked 26th best prospect in hockey before 2014-15 NHL season
DRAFT: Considered undersized for a quarterback at 6'-0" and 210 pounds, he was passed over by the Jaguars, who selected 6'-5", 232-pound QB Blake Bortles, in the first round before finally being taken by the Browns with the 22nd pick. At 5'-6", 150 pounds, he fell all the way into the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Draft where then-Flames GM Jay Feaster, going against the team's usual preference for oversized players, took him with the 104th pick.
BASEBALL CONNECTION: Also drafted by the San Diego Padres and given his own baseball card. Threw out the first pitch at a Boston College baseball game with his hockey stick.
NFL DEBUT (9/14/14 vs. Saints): Three plays, one incompletion, 0 total yards of offense in 26-24 win. NHL DEBUT (4/13/14 vs. Canucks): Saw 15:11 of ice time, scored on his first shot in 5-1 loss.
STATUS: Ranks last among rookie QBs with 39.6 passer rating. Ranks second among NHL rookies in assists (17) and points (23).

NOTABLE QUOTE ABOUT: “You’ll get a little bit more movement if Manziel’s the quarterback, the thing that they did against Buffalo. But other than that, no, that doesn’t impact you at all. You gotta go defend the offense. You don’t defend the player. Particularly a midget.” — Bengals coach Marvin Lewis “Well, I’m taller than him. But I like the way he plays. The first day of training camp, I saw him off the ice and I was like, ‘Wow. This guy is not big at all.’ But then he stepped on the ice and I knew right away that there’s something special there." — Flames teammate Jiri Hudler
NOTABLE QUOTE BY: "If teams are really going to play me and say I can't sit back there and throw and they want to man-up and blitz and all these things, please, bring it on." "You've got to be mentally prepared and physically prepared. I'm just trying to make sure I'm in the best shape and have the best possible chance to make this team."
NOTABLE ENDORSEMENTS: Nike, Nissan, McDonald's, Snickers, MusclePharm sports nutrition Bauer hockey equipment

NOTABLE PALS: LeBron James and the real Tim Tebow

Zemgus Girgensons and hockey's Tim Tebow

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