4:05PM: Elliotte Friedman wrote at Sportsnet that Gauthier “craved a better opportunity” and that he will get it with the Rangers. (Sportsnet)
1:54PM: Corey Pronman says that Gauthier would be the Rangers number three prospect. (The Athletic)
1:30PM: Gauthier will wear #12 for the Rangers.
12:02PM: The Rangers have traded prospect Joey Keane to Carolina for RW prospect Julien Gauthier.
Gauthier, 22, was Carolina’s first round pick in 2016 and has 26 goals and 11 assists this season in 44 AHL games.
He is signed through next season with a cap hit of $863,333.
He is 6-4, 227 lbs and was ranked as Carolina’s 5th best prospect by The Hockey News’ Future Watch, with them writing, “Gauthier was headed down the “first-round bust” path before the light started to come on. He’s a physical specimen, but his introduction to the pros became a struggle when he discovered his strength wasn’t the advantage it was in junior. There’s a long way to go, but Gauthier is showing signs of becoming the power forward the Canes thought they were getting. It will take a few years of development to determine what they have in him, but they think he is likely to play in the NHL, which was uncertain a year ago.”
The Hockey News Yearbook for this season wrote of Gauthier, “large-bodied winger with finishing touch still refining pro game. Able to play a heavy style.”
Scott Wheeler of The Athletic recently ranked Gauthier as Carolina’s 9th best prospect and wrote “he’s not going to surprise defenders with passes through their feet or a slick pass on the power play but Gauthier can get to the net to finish off plays or score from long range” adding that he should be able to “thrive” with a playmaking center.
Corey Pronman wrote recently at The Athletic, “he’s a player that generates a lot of debate among scouts because of his great physical toolkit between his size, speed and hands, but a lack of consistent production over the years.”
In his draft year, Gauthier was ranked 21st by Future Considerations and they listed his potential as “top-six, goal scoring power winger.”
From the Rangers release:
- He is fourth in the AHL in goals this season and led Carolina’s AHL team in goals, PPG and shots on goal.
- He has scored in 22 of the 44 AHL games he has played this season and also played in five NHL games this season.
- “Gauthier ranks fourth in the AHL in goals over the last two seasons (53), and he established AHL career-highs in games played (75), goals (27), assists (14), and points (41) in 2018-19.”
- “Gauthier also helped Charlotte win the Calder Cup as AHL Champions in 2018-19, as he tallied eight points (five goals, three assists) and posted a plus-seven rating in 17 playoff games.”
Adam Rotter: On first glance the Rangers appear to have dealt from a strength to fill a need up front. Joey Keane was an AHL All-Star this season, and was called up last week to play in case of injury, but the Rangers have other defensive prospects in Hartford as well as guys like K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist coming soon. Because of that they are able to add someone that is big, shoots the puck and plays the north/south game the Rangers want to play. Frankly, it seems that in acquiring Gauthier the Rangers are adding some insurance in case they lose Chris Kreider. On paper it seems they bring similar skill sets and even if the Rangers decide to keep Kreider, they still lacked players like him up front.
Does it have any direct impact on them trading Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich or Tony DeAngelo? I don’t think so, but we will have to wait and see. This seems like a move the Rangers would have made regardless to fill an organizational need.