With the twenty-first pick in the 2016 NHL Draft the Carolina Hurricanes have selected Julien Gauthier from the Val d’Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
About Julien Gauthier
Julien Gauthier is a right wing that stands 6’4″, 225 lbs. and entered the draft after three seasons with the Val d’Or Foreurs. Gauthier, 18, scored 41 goals and 57 points in 54 games for the Foreurs. Gauthier reminds some scouts of Rick Nash. Despite his size, Gauthier possesses a strong stride and should become more comfortable with his frame as he gets older. Despite his 41 goals in the 2015-16 season, scouts have been concerned about tallying just 16 assists. In the 2014-15 season, Gauthier compiled 38 goals and 35 assists in 68 games — a much more balanced statistical year for the right wing.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) June 25, 2016
How Gauthier Fits into the Hurricanes’ Future
With the trade of former captain Eric Staal to the New York Rangers last season, the Hurricanes are in somewhat of a re-building stage. With the re-build already under way, this bodes well for the future of Gauthier.
The Hurricanes have used the draft to stockpile young talent and have seen the impact of some of these players very quickly. In 2010, Jeff Skinner was chosen 7th overall and has been an offensive talent for the team despite numerous injuries the last couple of seasons. More recently, the Hurricanes have added Elias Lindholm (5th overall in 2013), Haydn Fleury (7th overall in 2014) and Noah Hanifan (5th overall in 2015). Hanafin has stepped in as an 18-year-old defenseman and made an immediate impact with the club.
Given the point in the Hurricanes re-building process and Gauthier’s size for his age, it is possible that Gauthier steps in earlier than expected and makes it to the NHL before some other members of the 2016 NHL Draft class.
Gauthier is projected to be a future power forward in the NHL.