With the sixth selection in the 2022 SBNation NHL Mock Draft, on behalf of the Columbus Blue Jackets we are happy to select forward Cutter Gauthier out of the U.S. National Team Development Program.
The full mock draft can be followed here. The first five selections were:
1. Shane Wright - MTL
2. Logan Cooley - NJD
3. Juraj Slafkovsky - ARI
4. Simon Nemec - SEA
5. David Jiricek - PHI
I had my heart set on getting one of those two right-handed defensemen, but both went off the board right before our pick. After that, it was time to turn our attention to getting a center. Gauthier played wing this past season, but is expected to play center at Boston College this fall. He certainly has the size you would want there, but even if he ended up sticking in the NHL as a top 6 power winger, that would be a great result. Basically, he can be the next Pierre-Luc Dubois or the next Josh Anderson.
Matthew Savoie was another center considered here but Gauthier’s size gave him the edge.
What do you think of this pick?
What do you think of this mock draft pick?
This poll is closed
I agree with picking Gauthier
I would have preferred Matthew Savoie
I would preferred a different forward (name in comments)
I would have preferred the top defenseman available
Team: USNTDP (USHL)
Date of Birth: January 19, 2004
Birthplace: Skelleftea, Sweden
Weight: 201 lbs
Ranked #11 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #11 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #13 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #13 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #13 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #7 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #3 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #7 by SPORTSNET
Ranked #16 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #12 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #9 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #11 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #18 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #28 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY
Games Played: 54/22
Players like Savoie, Kemell, and Lekkerimaki do have a little more pure offense in them, but when talking about what helps juniors translate to the NHL, which is speed and power, Gauthier has that over them in a major manner while not giving that much in terms of offense compared to those three. His shot is one of the best in the draft, he has good puck skills and can make plays. You combine that with a 6-foot-2 1/2 frame, a good compete level, and NHL speed and he looks every bit like a future quality top-six NHL forward. He did play with Cooley for a while, but he also centered his own line for stretches of the season when Charlie Stramel was out and did so quite effectively. - Corey Pronman, The Athletic
With a well-rounded game, deadly shot, and great size, Gauthier is one of the more NHL-ready prospects in the 2022 class. He skates well for a big kid, covering plenty of ice with a long stride and good posture. He isn’t going to consistently run guys through the boards but he will finish his checks and knows how to use his body to protect pucks along the wall or create space with strong net drives. Gauthier gets himself into the dirty areas but he can also beat goaltenders from distance with a heavy and accurate wrister that comes off his blade quickly. While he is more of a shooter, he also has decent vision and can make plays to create chances for his teammates. There is power in his game to be sure but he doesn’t lack finesse either.
The ceiling might not be as high as some other players in this range but those players don’t offer the same level of NHL projectability that Gauthier does either. His versatility, middle-driven game, and scoring upside will be hard to pass up in this range. - Dobber Prospects
If I had to choose a word to describe his overall game, an easy choice would be “versatile”. Gauthier’s ability to slide up and down the forward lines and not skip a beat, is a testament to how unique and mature of a game he really plays. Gauthier can be relied on to play in any situation, at any time of the game, and NTDP Head Coach Adam Nightingale knows exactly what he’s going to get out of him.
When you combine Gauthier’s ability to be physical in all three zones of the ice with his ridiculously impressive skills in the offensive zone, it gets you a player who is relatively hard to come by in the 2022 NHL Draft class. - Paul Zuk, Smaht Scouting