Cutter Gauthier, 18, is a C/LW from the U.S. NTDP. He is committed to Boston College for the 2022-2023 season. Could he bit a fit for the Philadelphia Flyers?
Cutter Gauthier is a 6’3″, 201lbs power-forward. Gauthier is a dynamic player due to his ability to play as a center and left-winger. He is ranked third among North American skaters in the 2022 NHL Central Scouting Rankings and fifth in Bob McKenzie’s recent final draft rankings.
Gauthier has ascended up the draft rankings throughout the recent months. He was sometimes seen as a mid to late first-round pick but now sees himself sitting in the top five.
While playing in 54 games for the U.S. NTDP during the 2021-2022 season, Gauthier scored 65 points (34G, 31A). The U.S. won a silver medal during the U-18 World Championships and Gauthier played a key role throughout the tournament, scoring nine points (3G, 6A) in six games.
Gauthier will be playing at Boston College for the 2022-2023 season.
With many power forwards and bigger players in general, skating could be a weakness. That is not the issue with Gauthier. He isn’t the fastest skater, but the ability to be agile while making quick transitions, brilliant edge-work, and a quick beginning stride makes him stand out from other players of similar size.
Gauthier’s skating is also powerful, which is a factor of his strength. It’s hard for opponents to knock him off the puck and he has no issue with driving play towards the net.
Gauthier has an eye for finding the back of the net. His wrist shot and snapshot are at the top of his shooting repertoire. He can unleash a quick, snap release that is powerful, yet accurate.
His size benefits him again when battling in front of the net. Gauthier is able to use his height to screen the goalie and strength to fight for a rebound or get his stick out for a deflection.
Gauthier’s high hockey sense helps when in the defensive zone. He uses his size to push opponents along the boards in order to create turnovers. His long reach is also beneficial when trying to intercept a pass.
Gaining more speed will make Gauthier a stronger player. He already has the strength and power to compete at the NHL level, but more speed during the stride will make him well-rounded.
His slap shot and one-timer can see improvement. Gauthier does struggle to get a shot off if the pass is choppy or inaccurate. Adding renovation to his slap shot and one-timer will make his shooting arsenal more creative and dynamic.
He shows inconsistency during some shifts. There are times when his feet aren’t moving as quickly as they normally do, which backfires if needing to make a quick transition to defense.
With Gauthier’s size, strength, goal-scoring abilities, and overall complete game, he can easily develop into a top-six forward in the NHL. He does need another year of development before making the jump to the professional level, which is why he’ll be playing at Boston College in the fall.
Does Gauthier fit the Flyers?
Gauthier is most certainly a fit for the Flyers. His capability of playing as either a center or on the left wing gives him a huge upside. The Flyers need high-end talent on the left wing and they could also use more depth down the middle of the lineup.
A player who provides versatility, strength, goal-scoring, and the ability to play a complete two-hundred-foot game, is one who can bring success to a struggling NHL franchise.
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)