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Ethan Gauthier is a power forward the Leafs may select at 28th overall

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Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
9 months ago
When it comes to drafting players that are below six feet, one thing that scouts will try and look for is if they play above their weight. If there is a player that does that and provides a ton of value offensively and is getting better, he is worth taking a chance on late in the first round.
Now add to that the fact this player has an NHL bloodline and this makes for quite a fascinating player to look into. He is the subject of today’s post as part of the series of deep dives on potential players the Leafs could take at 28th overall.

Scouting Profile

Ethan Gauthier is a Canadian right winger who is currently playing for the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL. He is about average in terms of forward size, standing at 5’11” and weighing 176 pounds. He is also the son of former NHL defenceman Denis Gauthier and his older cousin, Julien Gauthier, is currently with the Senators.
Playing alongside his older brother, Kaylen, Ethan Gauthier had a productive season with the Phoneix and merged as one of their key players by scoring a nice 69 points (30 goals and 39 assists) in 66 games. He wasn’t a line driver but did exceptionally well in supporting his linemates and being a reliable player wherever he was placed in the lineup. That’s because Gauthier is great at keeping the puck in motion, winning puck battles, getting the puck through defenders, and charging toward the net to either lay a tip or fire a shot. Perhaps one of his best traits is his willingness to play the body and be a pain to play against because he is always engaged and has the speed to keep up with the opposition.
Scouts are projecting his skillset to be a middle-six forward due to the fact he mostly plays a quiet game in support of his teammates. Gauthier does have his moments where he pulls off an impressive deke prior to a goal or makes an amazing pass to set up a teammate, but he is not a player that can consistently be a dynamic player. While he does have the speed to stay with the play, there are also times when he slows the game down and is missing that extra pace to set him apart from the rest. And his defensive game could use some improvement too. This is not to suggest he won’t be able to crack an NHL roster, but his ceiling is not exactly through the roof as it currently stands.
Still, there is enough to like about what he brings to the table and his six-goal outing during the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup demonstrates there could be another gear in him not fully realized. There is enough there currently that he could be a solid complimentary player who can do the dirty work for the star players and not look out of place. Gauthier being projected to be a late-first or early-second-round pick is about accurate in terms of his skillset at this time.

What the scouts are saying

Ranked #29 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #31 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #29 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #31 by FLOHOCKEY/CHRIS PETERS
Ranked #24 by DAILY FACEOFF
Ranked #16 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #40 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #17 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #16 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #28 by SPORTSNET
Ranked #39 by HPR/SHANE MALLOY
Ranked #15 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #32 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #18 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #79 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Chris Peters, Flo Hockey: “Offensively, there is little to quibble with when it comes to Gauthier. He has a good shot, moves well and clearly has the one-on-one skill to get by defenders and make plays in tight. He’s closer to average in the size department, but still doesn’t shy away from contact and getting aggressive. He was over a point-per-game this season with Sherbrooke and had a standout performance for Canada at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. There’s a good chance he goes a bit higher in the first round than I have him ranked.”
Hadi Kalakeche, Dobber Prospects: “Creative, relentless forward with decent but improvable puck skills. Still raw, but could develop into a potent top-six forward at the NHL level.”
Josh Tessler, Smaht Scouting: “Ethan Gauthier is coming off of his second season with the Sherbrooke Phoenix and averaged roughly a point per game. Gauthier projects to be a bottom six forward at the next level and will be called upon to provide grit / physicality in order to cause puck disruption. But, I do want to note that his physicality has been far more prominent on the forecheck than on the backcheck. While he does project to be more a grit / physical forward than a game changer, he will be able to rack up points by using his frame to fight for open passing lanes at net-front and by using his physicality to steal control of the puck on the forecheck and quickly distributing the puck.”
Steven Ellis, Daily Faceoff: “One of my favorite players from a style perspective, Gauthier is fierce, aggressive and never stops moving. He saw his offensive output jump by 30 points to a nice 69 this year, establishing himself as a strong goal-scorer. His power-forward style suits him well in a middle-six role.”

Summary

Gauthier brings a lot of good qualities that should bode well in his chances of being a dependable power forward. He is hard on the forecheck, plays a physical game, is a net-front presence, and is able to make solid plays in transition to keep the momentum up. This is a player you want to have on any line because he will help make them tougher to play against no matter where he is slotted.
His ceiling isn’t incredibly high and there are some aspects of his game that could use a bit of work, but there is still enough there that he is worth taking a chance on. He is someone who could have the makings of a dependable middle-six forward and one that would fit in nicely on the Leafs if that’s the direction they decide to go in.
As far as late first-round picks go, Gautheir is the kind of player that is worth taking a flyer on and perhaps there is another gear that could be unlocked in the right environment.
Stats from Elite Prospects.

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