Team: Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: April 26, 1995
Place of Birth: Laval, Quebec
Ht: 6'5" Wt: 210lbs
2012-2013 Regular Season Stats:
2012-2013 Playoff Stats:
I was able to see Gauthier a couple of times this year, when the Oceanic came to town and at the CHL Top Prospects game. The first thing you notice about him is his size- he's huge. After that, you don't notice a lot more, and that's by design- Gauthier isn't a flashy player. He's a no-nonsense player who excels in the defensive aspects of the game. He's got some offensive ability, but his calling is as a shutdown player.
He took the rare step of playing an extra year of midget hockey in Quebec, meaning he was a rookie in the QMJHL this past season. Another year in the Q will allow him to develop his offensive game, and if he can add consistency with scoring to his defensive abilities he may turn into a steal for the team that drafts him later this month.
Gauthier experienced an up-and-down campaign. He showed significant flashes, but also lapsed offensively for long stretches. He measures at 6'5", 214 pounds, has some offensive talent, and shows advanced play for his age. He is an above-average skater, well above-average for a player his size, as he has a real easiness to his stride. He exerts little effort in his pushoffs, and he picks up speed very well. He is very agile, given his size. He had good offensive numbers this season, despite lining up against the opposition's best players and taking a lot of defensive zone draws. He has a good amount of offensive hockey sense, but sometimes he is too conservative and would be better served by letting his creativity show. His pure offensive upside is a question mark. He also can be a gentle giant at times. He will engage, and I would not describe his play as soft, but he will not throw his body around, and he is not the meanest of players. Despite his frame, he does need to get stronger, and he could stand to shoot a tad more as well.
- Hockey Prospectus
Chris Bordeleau of NHL Central Scouting has tracked the progress of countless players in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pipeline over the past three decades.
Still, he struggles when asked to recall a forward matching the defensive acumen and awareness exhibited by 2013 draft-eligible center Frederik Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic.
"I've never seen a kid get back and play defense like he does in 20 years," Bordeleau told NHL.com. "In his own end, he's always around the puck. A kid that can play defense like he does at his age, with that kind of maturity, is very rare."
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
Gauthier will in all likelihood be a checking line player in the pros. The Jackets could use his size, but Boone Jenner has the future 3C spot locked down. Gauthier does have enough offensive ability to surprise however, and if the Jackets were to draft him they could develop him as a two-way player who excels on the penalty kill.
Gauthier in Action: