With the 21st pick, the Maple Leafs select... Frederick Gauthier

Cam Charron
June 30 2013 03:18PM


Credit to Nations photo Dimitri Filopovic

Somewhat expected, the Toronto Maple Leafs went with the big centreman Frederick Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic with the 21st overall pick. Gauthier had been given to the Leafs in several mock drafts—either him or Kerby Rychel—as the Maple Leafs continue the theme of drafting size rather than skill among forwards.

The pick isn't *awful*, but it is a *safe* pick. Pierre McGuire stated the obvious when he suggested that Gauthier will never be like Ron Francis. It's not a reach, as Gauthier was ranked No. 20 in our NHL Numbers consensus picks, but considering a skilled forward like Hunter Shinkaruk had fallen to the Leafs spot, I can understand if fans feel the team didn't try to hit a home run.

Nonis suggested to James Duthie that there were several centres in the draft that the team was looking at, and it's obvious that the team had a need at forward.

Here is stats guy Rob Pettapiece on Gauthier, breaking down quality of competition and 5-on-5 statistics:

5v5 stats (season and playoffs):

2012-13: 16 G, 24 A, 40 PTS, 0.59 PPG

Faced toughest forward competition on Rimouski this year, but not top-10 leaguewide. Most common opponents: Philippe Maillet, Philippe Halley, Dylan "Philippe" Labbé. Most common teammates: Scott Oke, Ryan MacKinnon, Peter Trainor.

Top comparables (offensively and qualcomp-wise, though I understand he was selected for his defensive skill, so these may be bogus): Jordan Eberle, Alexandre Lavoie, Josh Nicholls.

Eberle is an... er... interesting comparable. Not that those aren't stylistic comparables, just similar statistics at a similar junior age.

What do you think? It seems like Gauthier projects as a decent two-way forward, but his offence doesn't appear to be there, which is the kind of player you want to take in the first round.

Neate Sager at Buzzing the Net has a good take here. Our own Justin Fisher will talk with some scouts and have a post up shortly.

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Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
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#1 MaxPower417
June 30 2013, 03:27PM
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Ugh, I'm not a big fan of safe picks.

My first thought was Joe Colborne 2.0. Is that off the mark?

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#2 Badger M
June 30 2013, 03:32PM
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@MaxPower417

They're both tall and centres and...?

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#4 MaxPower417
June 30 2013, 03:39PM
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Badger M wrote:

They're both tall and centres and...?

Big but not overly physical. Known for a well rounded game but not excelling at either end.

Where he differs, is not in an area which I find inspiring. He's said to be polished and physically mature which means not a whole lot of room for grown an development.

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#5 Badger M
June 30 2013, 03:54PM
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@Cam Charron

What do you consider Martin Hanzal?

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#6 MaxPower417
June 30 2013, 04:06PM
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@Badger M

Another silly draft day comp where every player drafted gets compared to an Allstar?

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#7 BCLeafFan
June 30 2013, 04:08PM
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It's amazing to me that so many hockey fans are able to predict the future for 18 year old hockey players. If, in fact, the Leafs are committed to keeping and developing their prospects, who knows where Frederick Gauthier ends up? It certainly sounds as though he can become a solid NHL player. Could we all just give him a chance please? There's an easy way to load up on "can't miss" prospects. Just ask the Edmonton Oilers. Not sure that Leaf Nation would be willing to go that route. Trades, anyone?

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#8 Badger M
June 30 2013, 04:18PM
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@MaxPower417

Its just as silly a draft day comp to compare him to Joe Colborne.

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#9 Mironovs Nose
June 30 2013, 04:22PM
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Jesus.

Every time.

Any pick at 21 is going to be a bit of a gamble but for once I'd like to see the Leafs take a chance on a highly skilled player with 1st line upside. Seems like they prefer really big guys who might make great third liners one day.

I guess if they keep drafting guys like this they'll get lucky one day and come up with a 230 lb top six guy. Maybe.

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#10 MaxPower417
June 30 2013, 04:38PM
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@BCLeafFan

You're missing the point. We don't want can't miss prospects, we want high upside prospects.

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#11 Vik
June 30 2013, 06:43PM
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Not happy about it, but not unhappy. Only time will tell how the pick turns out. I personally wanted Shinkaruk when I saw he was sliding out of the middle (11-20).

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