2016 NHL Draft
RW Julien Gauthier
Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)
Steve Kournianos | 02/25/2016 | New York |
The Draft Analyst Ranking:
Position: Right Wing
Height/Weight: 6’4 224 lbs
Born: October 15, 1997, Pointe-aux-Trembles, QC
Obtained: Selected by the Val-d’Or Foreurs in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft
Notes: 2015-16: Finished sixth in the QMJHL with 41 goals — 30 scored at even strength or shorthanded…Tied for third in the league with eight “first goals”…Played for Team Cherry at the 2016 CHL Top Prospects Game…Recorded two assists in five games for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF under-20 world junior championship…Gauthier was the only first-year draft eligible player selected for Canada’s WJC team…Scored seven goals in his first eight games before he sustained an injury on 10/2/15 from an illegal check by Julien-Carnignan-Labbe, who was suspended seven games…One of only four first-time draft eligible selected to represent the QMJHL at the 2015 CHL Canada-Russia Series…Was the only underage invite to Team Canada’s 2015 World Junior Championship evaluation camp…2014-15: Tied for third in goal scoring (38) among all QMJHL right wings despite being only years old…Finished 16th in the entire league in shots on goal (245)…His 1.07 points-per-game average was the CHL’s second best among 16 year olds behind OHL Rookie of the Year Alex DeBrincat…2013-14: Made QMJHL debut and led all 15 year olds in both goals (nine) and assists (21)…His 0.48 PPG average (30 points in 62 games) was the highest of any of the 47 15 year olds who played in the CHL that season…Tied a Val-d’Or team record by appearing in 24 playoff games, where he registered seven assists…Played in six games for Team Canada – Quebec at the 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge (6-0-0-0).
Traditional logic tells us that most scouting departments will gravitate towards the prospect who is both skilled and mature over those whom are simply talented. When the time comes for teams to decide which players they choose to invest in, being wise beyond one’s years is always a major consideration. This June, not many draft-eligible teenagers possess a type of overwhelming arsenal of characteristics like Val-d’Or power winger Julien Gauthier, who has (literally) dominated his age group within the CHL in each of the last three seasons. Blessed with a solid build (6’4, 225 lbs), good speed and a strikingly accurate shot, Gauthier validated his rightful place among the world’s elite amateurs a few years back, when at 15 years old he was getting opportunities on the Foreurs’ top line and actually contributing. Today, we consider him the best Quebec-raised power forward since Steve Bernier (16th overall in 2003), albeit more polished at this stage of his development. Gauthier is very noticeable when it’s his turn to hop over the boards – his stick is always in the right position whether to receive a pass on the rush or in the slot. He uses his size and reach to his advantage beyond puck protection; in other words, Gauthier’s difficult to defend in front of the net because he can alter shots heading in a variety of directions. Furthermore, he keeps defenders further away from the net because he doesn’t have to be close to the cage to fight for rebounds. He’s had the misfortune of bouncing between Val-d’Or’s top two lines this season by way of their incredible (and experienced) scoring depth, but he also kills penalties and produces plays while shorthanded. A recent injury seemed to have slowed him down after a torrid start (seven goals in his first eight games, one in the following six), but he’s too complete a player to let a small slump impact his high standing within the scouting community. We think he’s ready for the Big Time sooner rather than later, and a safe bet to end up among one of the 13 lottery picks announced on Draft Day.