Claude Giroux grew up playing hockey in his hometown of Hearst, Ontario. But Claude moved to Ottawa in 2002 and played Major Bantam and Minor Midget AA hockey for the Cumberland Barons for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 minor hockey season. While living in Ottawa, he attended French Catholic High School, Béatrice-Desloges, in Orléans.

However, when the Canadian Hockey league draft came by, he went undrafted and elected to play for the Cumberland Grads JR. A. team of the Central JR. A League for the 2004-05 season.

After a full season playing for the Grads, Giroux signed as a free agent with the Gatineau Olympiques of the Québec Minor Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) for the 2005-06 season.

In his rookie season in Gatineau (2005-06), he managed to amass 39 goals and 64 assists for a total of 103 points in 69 games.

In the summer of 2006, he entered the NHL entry draft and was selected 22nd overall by the Philadelphia Flyers.

In only his 2nd (but last) season in Gatineau, Giroux scored 48 goals and 64 assists for a total of 112 points in 63 games while leading the Olympiques to a QMJHL Playoffs championship and earned himself the Guy Lafleur Trophy (MVP of the QMJHL Playoffs) by scoring 17 goals and 34 assists in 19 playoff games, (a franchise record).

After a disappointing NHL training camp at the beginning of the 2008-09 season, Giroux started the season with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, Philadelphia Phantoms. But after only 33 games with the Phantoms (where he scored 17 goals and 17 assists for a total of 34 points), he was called up to play with the big club in Philadelphia, the Flyers.

Giroux went on to play the rest of the 2008-09 season with the Flyers (42 games). Since then, Claude has amassed a total of 123 points (41 goals and 82 assists) in 164 games and played in the 2011 NHL All-Star game.

This season, Claude has been phenomenal! With the departure of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Ville Leino in the off season, Giroux, a winger that can also take face-offs has stepped up as the real offensive leader for the Flyers. As a result, he has seen a big change in his ice time this season and is certainly taking advantage of that, scoring 11 goals and 11 assists in the first 22 games of the season.

But with all the success that Claude Giroux has had in the last couple of seasons, comes the realization that he is still only 23 years old, he has not even reached his prime yet. That said, Claude Giroux is still warming up.

Put the rest of the league on look out, Claude Giroux is about to take the National Hockey League by storm!

George A,

www.twitter.com/georgio97