Anaheim Ducks Draft Nathan Gaucher 22nd Overall

With the 22nd pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Anaheim Ducks have selected Nathan Gaucher from the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)

Related: 2022 NHL Draft Tracker

About Nathan Gaucher

Good two-way centers are always in demand in an NHL prospect pool and Nathan Gaucher fits that bill. With a solid scoring touch in and around the crease, he is also an offensive contributor who has solid hands and vision to get things done. He may not ever be an elite goal scorer, but burying some goals at the next level thanks to his physical toolkit isn’t out of the question.

Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide

Though he may not possess top-end speed or play a flashy game, Gaucher still has top-six potential. His instincts, positioning and compete level were all good enough to earn him solid grades from scouts and he’ll look to continue excelling in the areas that make him such a high-floor-level prospect.

THW Prospect Profile Excerpt

“Lacking flash and high-end puck skills, one word will always be associated with Nathan Gaucher: reliable, because head coach Patrick Roy utilizes Gaucher in all situations. A big-bodied, two-way center, who possesses a nice scoring touch, he’s a safe pick even if he lacks elite offensive upside.

“The lack of offense will likely see him fall out of the top of the draft, but his size and solid two-way play should keep him in the first round. He had a strong 2020-21 season, scoring 31 points in 30 games and leading the Remparts despite being one of the team’s youngest players. His offense has trailed off a little this season, with 31 points in 44 games, but with 20 of his 30 points being goals, he’s shown his goal-scoring potential.

Nathan Gaucher Quebec Remparts
Nathan Gaucher of the Quebec Remparts is a big, solid, two-way center (Photo: Jonathan Roy)

“At 6-foot-3, 207 pounds, he’s a menacing force through the middle and uses his size very well. He plays a mean brand of hockey and isn’t afraid to throw his weight around. Offensively, he plays a power game, routinely dropping his shoulder and forcing his way to the net while also dominating below the circles and along the boards. The one elite skill he possesses offensively is his net-front play. Drawing comparisons to New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider, Gaucher does a lot of his scoring in front. Not only does he dominate this area physically, but he also shows good awareness and an ability to ghost away from defenders, opening himself up to receive a pass. He also shows good hands in these areas and an ability to finish chances and tip pucks.

“His net-front talent makes him a threat on the power play, even in a limited role. Gaucher is a fantastic penalty-killer who can anchor a top unit. With one of the best motors in the draft, he never takes a shift off and is always causing havoc for the opposition. He can impact the game in all three zones but projects more as a defensive center who can chip in with some goals at the next level. A solid skater for his size, he has some issues with acceleration and agility but has a good top speed. It’s unlikely he will be more than an average skater in the NHL, but his skating shouldn’t hold him back at the next level either.”

Full player profile can be found here

How This Affects the Ducks’ Plans

The Anaheim Ducks get a pro-style, hard-to-play against center in Gaucher. If the team believes in his offense, he’s a top-six center. If they’re less convinced in his offense, they still have a fantastic third-line center. NHL-ready physically and defensively, there’s serious goalscoring potential in Gaucher. With Trevor Zegras and Mason McTavish already in the organization, the Ducks are set up the middle for a long time. Gaucher’s high-end projection is Bo Horvat and there’s serious potential for him to reach that ceiling. McTavish and Gaucher will be a nightmare for the Pacific Division to deal with.

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