Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2022 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Nathan Gaucher Scouting Report.
Drafted in the first round, eighth overall in the 2019 QMJHL Draft, Nathan Gaucher has just completed his third year in the QMJHL. An alternate captain for the Quebec Remparts, he put up 31 goals and 26 assists for 57 points in 66 games this year. He also added three goals and six assists for nine points in 12 playoff games. Gaucher helped the Remparts defeat Shawinigan and Rimouski to reach the final four, before falling three games to two to the Shawinigan Cataractes.
In 2020-21 Gaucher put up 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points in 30 games as the season was interrupted by the COVID pandemic. He also added one goal and three assists for four points in six playoff games. The Remparts defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs in three straight games in the first round. They lost to Rimouski, also in a three-game sweep in the second round.
Gaucher’s rookie season, 2019-20, was also cut short by the pandemic. He scored 13 goals and 24 points in 59 games. Gaucher also played for Team Canada Red at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored two goals and three assists for five points in five tournament games.
Nathan Gaucher Scouting Report
Centre — shoots Right
Born November 6th, 2003 — Richelieu, Quebec
Height 6’3″ — Weight 207 lbs [191 cm / 94 kg]
Gaucher is an excellent skater. He has a long and powerful stride. Gaucher shows good technique and good knee and ankle flex. His acceleration is elite and Gaucher is one of the fastest skaters in the class. This helps him to play a 200-foot game. Gauthier can beat a defender wide and create separation, driving to the net. He also has good lateral agility and edgework. Gaucher’s ability to move laterally and his quick cuts help him to avoid defenders. He is also strong on his skates. Gaucher can fight through checks and keep moving forward. He also is strong in battles on the boards and able to establish his position in front of the net. Gaucher will get better at this as he matures and grows.
Gaucher pairs his strong skating with good puckhandling skills to create offensively. He is able to skate the puck through the neutral zone and create efficient zone entries. He can lead the rush and make good decisions to create chances for himself or by passing to a teammate. Gaucher has good vision and passing skills. He also uses his long stick, big body and good hands to protect the puck and work the cycle game. When an opportunity presents itself, he is not afraid to take the puck to the front of the net. Gaucher has the creativity and vision to set up teammates when he gets to those dirty areas of the ice.
He also has a very good wrist shot. He shows good power and accuracy. Gaucher also has soft hands and a quick release. This allows him to score goals as well. He gets to the front of the net and will let the majority of his shots go from the slot. He is also able to get to the front of the net to score deflections and rebounds. Gaucher plays a physical game. He battles for loose pucks on the boards. He also does a good job on the forecheck. With his speed, he gets in quickly and forces the opponent into mistakes.
Gaucher is one of the best defensive forwards in the QMJHL. He is very good positionally. Gauthier is often the third man high in the offensive zone and this helps him get back quickly. He also uses his big body and a long stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes. He is almost always matched against the opponent’s top line. Gaucher is willing to engage physically. Gaucher helps support his defencemen on the boards and in clearing the front of the net. He is also very good at reading the play and pressures the puck well on the penalty kill. He is also not afraid to use his body to block shots. Gaucher has also shown that he is effective in the face-off circle. When a turnover is created, Gaucher is quick to move the puck out of the zone and start the transition game.
Projection and Comparison
Gaucher is a very safe pick. With his size, skating and defensive game, he is very likely to make the NHL. It is easy to envision him as a bottom-six centre and penalty killer once he fully develops. The question is if he can be more. He has many good offensive tools, but other than his skating doesn’t seem to stand out in any one of them. This may limit his ultimate offensive potential. There is still a chance he can round out his game a bit more and become a second liner but the production is underwhelming for a player in his 3rd QMJHL Season. Gaucher’s game is reminscent of Rob Niedermayer. This a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Nathan Gaucher that are available on youtube and Twitter.
Nathan Gaucher showing us why he's highly touted for the 2022 #NHLDraft@quebec_remparts | @QMJHL pic.twitter.com/ibhnpLgaxh
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) October 28, 2021
Nathan Gaucher makes it look EASY! @quebec_remparts | @QMJHL pic.twitter.com/4zP1I5b321
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) December 3, 2021
Nathan Gaucher #14 : 6’2 192 pounds. Gaucher is an impressive power forward. At only 16 years old he played on the pk at the WHC-17. He love to hit his opponent and he is a good skater for his size. He have an accurate shot and take good smart decision in the O zone. I love him! pic.twitter.com/ULXzy8xSe6
— Alexandre Morand (@alexmorehockey) July 5, 2020
Nathan Gaucher scores his 8th of the season 🚨!
The #2022NHLDraft eligible is up to 19 PTS in 18 GP! pic.twitter.com/rD8oJcQO7w
— Andy Lehoux (@Andylehoux1) February 19, 2021
Great shot by #2022NHLDraft eligible Nathan Gaucher — gets the Remparts on the board, 2-1 Sherbrooke #QMJHL pic.twitter.com/Qb8SXBEBMA
— Hadi Kalakeche (@HadiK_Scouting) December 3, 2021
Nathan Gaucher, who was also on my players to watch list, gives team white a 3-1 lead. Very big centre from the Remparts, he will draw a lot of interest in the second round #CHLKTP pic.twitter.com/ozseP3ZOGe
— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) March 24, 2022
Check back tomorrow for our latest 2022 NHL Draft Article.
Nathan Gaucher Scouting Report Main Photo:
There are always a few players in every draft class that you can point to and say, “He’s definitely an NHLer.”
Nathan Gaucher is definitely one of them. @DavidSt_Louis hits the film room to find out why.
🔗: https://t.co/L7UJpTkgtj pic.twitter.com/8EKqnC2TO0
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) June 3, 2022