Flyers’ Gauthier secures bronze at 2023 World Juniors

Flyers' Cutter Gauthier
MADISON, WI – DECEMBER 02: U-18 forward Cutter Gauthier (19) during a college hockey match between the University of Wisconsin Badgers and the U.S. National Under-18 Team on December 2, 2021 at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. (Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire)

Moments after the Philadelphia Flyers routed the Arizona Coyotes, extending their win streak to four games, the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament concluded. Canada claimed the gold, defeating Czechia in overtime, 3-2.

Two prospects represented the Flyers at the 2023 World Juniors: Brian Zanetti and Cutter Gauthier. 

One Philadelphia prospect medaled in the 2023 World Juniors. The other’s team finished seventh of ten teams in the standings. How did Zanetti and Gauthier perform during the 2023 World Juniors?

Brian Zanetti (Switzerland)

Zanetti almost replicated his impact from the 2022 World Juniors. Instead of totaling two assists, Zanetti had one at the 2023 World Juniors. His team defense marginally improved, and he became slightly more disciplined on the ice.

Switzerland finished seventh in the standings. They finished eighth at the 2022 World Juniors.

Including Group Play, Switzerland was 3-2-0.

Every victory by Switzerland took place in an overtime period or shootout. Overall, Zanetti finished with a -2 rating, an assist, and averaged about 17mins of ice time. In Group Play, Switzerland fell to the United States 5-1. Sealing their 2023 World Junior fate, Czechia eliminated Switzerland in the quarterfinals, 9-1.

Cutter Gauthier (United States)

Gauthier participated in his first u20 World Junior Championship. In his debut at the tournament, he totaled ten points. He leaped off the page at more than a point-per-game pace.

The United States earned the bronze medal at the 2023 World Juniors. Gauthier had the sixth most points of all skaters throughout the tournament. He only trailed Logan Cooley and Jimmy Snuggerud on the United States roster. Not too shabby at the showcase of top prospects.

At the 2022 World Juniors, the United States didn’t place on the podium. A bronze medal is an exceptional step up from fifth, the middle of the World Juniors pack.

Including Group Play, the United States went 5-2-0.

Gauthier scored two goals, collected six assists, secured a +8 rating, and hovered just under 17mins of ice time. Eventually, the United States fell to Canada before contending for the bronze medal.

In the bronze medal game, Gauthier matched his two goals throughout the World Junior tournament. His 19:26 of ice time was also the most he accepted throughout the showcase. Gauthier scored late in the third versus Sweden before Chaz Lucius scored the game-winner.

Prospect Stock

In 2022, Switzerland won once in a game where Zanetti didn’t see the ice. In 2023, Zanetti, at best, minimally pushed his game forward. Czechia rolled Switzerland when it counted. It was his worst performance of the entire showcase, ending with a -2 rating and a minor penalty for embellishment in 5:41 of ice time. A lot fell apart in the 9-1 swashbuckling from the silver medalists in the quarterfinals.

Gauthier was more productive than Tyson Foerster and Bobby Brink in their respective World Junior appearances. Ideally, Gauthier is sliding into the Flyers system with those prospects, breaking out a young core of forwards. His stock rose, which should be exciting. Snatching bronze, Gauthier rebounded from a disappearing act versus Canada to scoring two goals with a minus-one rating in 19:26 against Sweden. Without his contribution to the 8-7 win, the United States might’ve fallen short of the podium in back-to-back World Juniors.

(Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire)