Julien Gauthier Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #18

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TopShelfProspectsAfter being the sixth overall pick in the 2013 QMJHL Draft, Julien Gauthier put up 38 goals and 73 points in 68 games for the Val D’Or Foreurs last season. He followed that up with 41 goals and 57 points in 54 games this year. Gauthier added two goals and five points in six playoff games, but the Foreurs were upset by the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs. He also played for Team Canada at the World Juniors where he played a lower line role and put up just two assists in five games in the tournament. He should be a key part of next year’s club.  He also played at this year’s CHL Top Prospects game and in the Subway Super Series.  His uncle is Denis Gauthier, who played in the NHL for the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes and Calgary Flames.

Julien Gauthier Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #18

Right Wing — shoots Right
Born Oct 15 1997 — Pointe-aux-Trembles, PQ
Height 6’04” — Weight 224 lbs [193 cm/102 kg]

At 6’4″, Julien Gauthier is a power forward prospect with the size and the strength to dominate the game down low. Gauthier throws big hits on the forecheck, protects the puck on the cycle, takes the puck to the front of the net, and wins battles with opposing defenders.  He also has an outstanding wrist shot, with great power and a hair trigger release. He also has shown good hockey IQ, and a knack for eluding defences and finding openings in the defence where he can set up to unleash a wicked one timer. His stickhandling is very good, and he has the ability to make plays while skating at top speed. One concern is that he has developed a bit of tunnel vision, in that he seems to fire everything at the net, even when sometimes a pass to a teammate might be a better play in the zone.

Gauthier is a great skater for a big man with very good top end speed as well as the power to fight through checks, or bowl over a defender on the way to the net. His agility and ability to weave through traffic could be improved. Currently he is more willing to just bowl over a defender on his way to the net than to move around him. He has very good lower body strength and balance, allowing him to win board battles or establish position in front of the net.  He’s strong on the puck, which makes him able to use his body to shield off defenders in the cycle game.

Julien Gauthier does show a good defensive game and that helped him to make Team Canada for the World Juniors this year. He plays his tenacious puck pursuit game in all three zones, back checking and battling for pucks in his own end. Gauthier has shown a bit of a mean streak at times. He is also not afraid to block shots, and uses his big frame to effectively cut down on passing and shooting lanes. Once he is able to gain control of the puck, he transitions quickly to offence.

Julien Gauthier will need some time to develop the consistency in his game and to work on his playmaking skill.  If he can do that, he can develop into an effective power forward over the next several years. In any event Gauthier’s size, speed and defensive game should be enough to make him an NHLer, the question is all about if he can produce at that level.  In terms of style, Gauthier plays the game like Rick Nash, but this is not a talent level comparision.

Below are some video clips gathered from youtube, and showing Gauthier in action.

Check back tomorrow for the #18 prospect on our draft board.

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