Leafs sign Frederik Gauthier

Steve Dangle
November 27 2013 03:03PM


                                           (Photo via Panini America)

In recent weeks, the Leafs signed prospects Matt Finn and Connor Brown. Today they locked up 2013 first-rounder Frederik Gauthier to a three-year entry level contract.

WHO DAT?

Gauthier is currently playing in the QMJHL with the Rimouski Oceanic, and he's a man among boys in that league. At 6'5" and 215lbs, Gauthier would be one of the biggest Leafs if he was on the roster today. He would tie Frazer McLaren and Troy Bodie as the team's tallest player, and he would be the fifth-heaviest behind Colton Orr (222), Nikolai Kulemin (225), Troy Bodie (226), and Frazer McLaren (230). He's a big boy.

You'd figure with size like that he might be kind of a goon, but he has just one fight in 85 QMJHL games. This video of that fight kind of explains why (he's the guy in the white jersey, although you probably guessed that).

While Gauthier is the biggest player in this fight (his opponent Matt Boudens is just 5'11" and 205 lbs), it's worth mentioning the other guy has 23 QMJHL fights under his belt. And wouldn't you know it - Gauthier had just 26 penalty minutes in 62 games last season and 15 in 23 games this year. A goon, he is not.

BY THE NUMBERS

Gauthier's point totals won't jump off the page at you at all. He has five goals and 16 assists for 21 points in 23 games. That isn't bad, but after being picked in the first round, those aren't intense junior numbers. His points-per-game numbers so far this season are about on par with what he got last season (22-38-60).

Many Leafs fans weren't terribly thrilled with Gauthier as a pick. While I understand the skepticism because he doesn't score much, Gauthier is advertised as a strong two-way centre. Now, we can debate whether or not you should be spending a first-rounder on a player like that, but the fact of the matter is this guy plays in Rimouski. Have you seen him play? Because I sure haven't. I don't get whatever local channel that is out there. Just look at the video of the fight! It looks like it was shot on a Blackberry Bold.

HockeyProspect.com scout Jerome Berube has seen Gauthier play in the Q. Here's what he thinks.

Nobody ever said he'd be Gretzky. 

What I'm saying is let's be fair. I was skeptical of that pick too, but I can only speak to the games I've seen him in, and those were in the rookie tournament games back in September. I thought he looked pretty good. Again, his size stands out big time.

FROM THE MAN HIMSELF

Here's something Gauthier told James Mirtle after he was drafted:

What Mirtle left out of that quote from Gauthier was "Because I'm too busy lifting really heavy weights and the Habs suck." Good on ya, Freddy. Good on ya.

WAIT A SECOND...

Nonis has been tinkering with the Leafs here and there. It always intrigues me when an NHL GM does that because I want to know if there's a big kaboom that follows it. First there was the Joe Colborne trade. Then Peter Holland comes to town for Jesse Blacker. Matt Finn gets signed, Connor Brown is locked up, too. Now Gauthier. Future, future, future, future, future. 

Frederik Gauthier looks to be part of the Leafs' future, whatever that may be. In case you haven't read it yet, here is the feature we wrote on Gauthier four our Top 20 Leafs Prospects feature. We ranked him third.

ONE LAST THING

 

You might have noticed this cereal box at your local grocery store. It says that the player in the pictue is Frederik Gauthier, but it isn't. The first time I saw it, I didn't think it was him either, but I just never followed up on it. Turns out that yep, it's a legit mistake. Sugar Crisp still rules, though.

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Steve Dangle has a YouTube channel with over 3 million views and is the co-host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud. Steve has also worked for CBC, the NHL Network, Leafs TV, Nike, the KHL, and most of all, the Toronto Zoo. stevedangle.com
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#1 STAN
November 27 2013, 04:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
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props

Entry Level Contract. ECL. Just what does that mean?

Well, the CBA breaks everything into categories, not least of which is age. One reason the Leafs signed these guys now is because they are below age 21, and so they can lock in their likely costs for 3-years. Still, the could still wait two more seasons on all three mentioned, Brown, Finn and now Gauthier.

Also (as per Cap Geek) "the amount of salary and team-paid performance bonuses is capped, depending on his draft year or the year he signs."

And even if you have Gretzky-like abilities, all ELCs are two-way contracts and can be extended by as many as two seasons.

The max allowable under these deals is $925,000, but good players can earn another $1.9M in bonuses, although a 'signing' bonus is restricted to 10-percent of the contract's total compensation. ($280,000), but is paid out annually ($92,500).

There is conflicting information on how much these guys get paid to play now, with their junior clubs, when the contracts actually start and what their AHL salary is. I've read conflicting information on the AHL minimum, from $42,000 to $55,00.

Not sure if NHL GMs can pick AHL-level salaries for their prospects, as long as it meets the minimum.

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