Seventh round draft picks don't usually make the NHL, but former Washington Capital and Hershey Bear Andrew Gordon finally cracked an NHL roster, it's just a shame he had to do it somewhere else. The 25-year old winger took the call of "Go West, young man!" to heart and signed a 2-year, $1.075 million deal this Summer with the Anaheim Ducks with the hopes of making the NHL full time. Former Washington Times reporter Corey Masisak reports that Gordon has done just that, and he is slated to open the season on Anaheim's third line alongside slick center Andrew Cogliano and teenaged winger Devante Smith-Pelley. He may be new in Anaheim, but people in D.C. and Hershey were able to preview the talent brewing a level below for years.
For those fans who only follow the Caps, we saw the 6', 195 lb Andrew Gordon play in 12 NHL games over three seasons, filling in nicely in limited ice time. The Halifax native posted his first career NHL goal and assist against Martin Brodeur on December 21, 2010, prompting a congratulatory phone call from long-time friend Sidney Crosby.
Gordon holding the puck from his first career goal
Despite the big game, Gordon was sent back to Hershey soon after, much to the delight of the fans there.
For those fans who know Gordon from his time in Hershey, they've known he was capable of being a full-time NHLer all along. Gordon was a key contributor to the Bears for 4 seasons, scoring 102 goals and 224 points in 267 games, but he brought more to the team than just offense. Andrew Gordon has a knack for morphing his game and adapting his style of play to any situation that’s thrown at him. You want finesse? He can do that. You want grit? No problem. Shots from high in the slot? Check. Camp in front of the net for rebounds? Also not an issue.
Gordon also had a knack for scoring when it counted. After finishing second in the AHL in goals in 2009-10 with 37, he posted 13 more in the playoffs to rank third in that category as he and the Bears captured their 2nd straight Calder Cup Championship. In all, Gordon scored 22 goals and 36 points in 46 Calder Cup playoff games. After all the awards and all-star games, he has nothing left to prove at the AHL level, though he will be missed in Hershey.
Congratulations, Andrew! It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. We wish you the best of luck in Helsinki this weekend.