Goal scorer first, who could round into a more developed threat as his skills continue to develop.
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February 2020 – In a positional balancing act, the New York Rangers sent AHL rookie defenseman, Joey Keane to the Hurricanes in exchange for winger Julien Gauthier. Gauthier may allow the Rangers some flexibility when it comes to dealing with pending UFA Chris Kreider. Gauthier fills in some of the gaps in the Rangers young forward depth and should be able to provide an NHL touch immediately while carrying top-six upside. Brayden Olafson
April 2019 – Gauthier’s sophomore season in the AHL was a step forward for the former first round sniper, finishing in the top 20 in the league in goals with 27 markers, just behind Aleksi Saarela (30) for the Charlotte Checkers team lead. The wingers nine power play goals were tops on the team, and could provide fantasy managers with some insight as to how he may be deployed at the NHL level down the road. Gauthier will never be a Selke trophy candidate, but if he can be deployed into favorable offensive minutes with ample power play time, he can be effective both in his career and as a fantasy asset for multi-cat players. Kevin LeBlanc
May 2018 – A good first professional season for Gauthier, who proved his NHL-level shot was a tool that would carry over to the next level of his career. The winger has always been a high-percentage shooter who doesn’t need shot volume to be able to score, and he proved that again in 2017-18. His 16 goals came on just 112 shots, good for a shooting percentage north of 14%. As he continues to progress in Charlotte, we should see a glimpse this season of what Gauthier’s potential will be at the next level. Will he grow as a player away from the puck or will he settle into more of a Anders Lee type role for the Canes down the road who may not be as dynamic, but still carries plenty of real-life and fantasy value? Kevin LeBlanc
September 2017 – In what will be a big year for Gauthier’s development, the hulking winger will likely spend the season in the AHL continuing to grow as an NHL capable forward. He will join an incredibly talented Charlotte Checkers group and should play solid minutes at even strength and on the power play. After coming off a 57 point season in his draft year where he posted a goal rate of .76 goals-per-game but an assists-per-game rate of just .30, Gauthier was a more balanced performer in 2016-17 with his goals-per-game rate dropping to .40 but his assist-per-game rate increasing to .80. With NHL ready size and an elite shot, Gauthier will need to continue improving as a two-way player to reach his ceiling as a prospect. I see him in the mold of an Anders Lee style player once he reaches the NHL level, where he will score a high percentage of power play points, and could be a 30-plus goal scorer if he plays with a distributing center. Kevin LeBlanc
October 2016 – Gauthier had a good developmental summer for the Hurricanes, showcasing his NHL-level skill set at times in both prospect camp and at the Traverse City prospects tournament. He was returned to Val-d’Or to continue to develop and gain more consistency in his game. Given his NHL-ready size and shot, he may not be far from putting on a Hurricanes sweater. Kevin LeBlanc
July 2016 – In need of a sniper, Carolina drafted hulking winger Julien Gauthier with their second first round pick. His 41 goals in 54 games were sixth in the QMJHL last season, following up a 38-goal effort for Val-d’Or the season before. Gauthier is not a player who will thrive if forced to be a playmaker, but if he is paired with skiledlinemates he has proven he can put up high goals numbers. Armed with a lethal shot, he should be a power play weapon if his teammates can get the puck to him in high-danger situations. His size and strength is NHL ready and he could push for a roster spot as early as this coming season if he is able to impress in camp. Kevin LeBlanc