2021-22 Team: USNTDP Juniors
Date of Birth: Jan. 19, 2004
Place of Birth: Skellefteå, SWE
Ht: 6-foot-3 Wt: 194 pounds
Position: Center/Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: First-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 6 (amongst NA skaters)
- Elite Prospects: 22
- FC Hockey: 16
- TSN/Bob McKenzie: 13
- McKeen’s Hockey: 20
- Dobber Prospects: 32
- SportsNet: 12
- Smaht Scouting: 23
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 28
- The Hockey Writers (Zator): 27
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 16
What are some things that teams look for in a power forward? The ability to drive plays and put the puck in the net. Cutter Gauthier can do both those things. Despite being born in Sweden where his father Sean finished up his own professional hockey career, he moved back to the United States and began his hockey career.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
As one would hope for a prospect who’s 6-foot-3, Gauthier brings physicality to his overall 200-foot game. He has the strength to fend off attackers, knocking them off the puck in the defensive zone, and lay the body to create turnovers in the offensive zone. He loves to get involved in scrums when he gets the chance.
On top of that, he has NHL-caliber skating ability. He has shown that he can be explosive coming out of the defensive zone and generates a lot of breakaways. Not only that, but it’s very difficult to both knock him off balance and off the puck, which contributes to a relentless forechecking ability. He’s very strong with the puck on his stick. Whether it’s attacking a defender out wide, or cutting through defenders up the middle, his ability to carry the puck over the blue line allows for his team to enter and set up their offense. He loves to shoot and will shoot from anywhere. He not only has a strong and accurate wrist shot, but he can fire it off quickly. He’s on pace for 40 goals in 38 United States Hockey League (USHL) games with the NTDP.
Much is the case for prospects coming out of the NTDP, he’s a strong defensive player who can be relied on to kill penalties. His positional versatility contributes to his success both in defending the middle, and defenders on the perimeter. He’s able to get in passing lanes to disrupt plays, and take one for the team by blocking shots. As previously mentioned offensively, he won’t shy away from throwing the body to create turnovers and break the puck out in the opposite direction.
While Gauthier is dangerous with the puck on his stick, and his willingness and ability to shoot from anywhere have their merits, he may need to be a bit wiser with his shot selection. Some bad-angle shots, if missing the net, can inadvertently start a breakout or odd-man rush for the opposing team. Late in games, especially close games, that could be a major problem. On that note, he can be careless with the puck at times and look for high-danger plays instead of making the safe play.
Without the puck, his pass reception needs some improvement. Hockey is a high-speed sport, so you won’t always get the perfect pass. There are times where passes will be in his feet or not directly to him and he has trouble handling them, which can result in a turnover. In addition, his intensity level and consistency can waiver on a shift-to-shift basis. He may be able to get away with a bit more as a winger rather than as a center, but nonetheless, these are areas to improve upon.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Cutter Gauthier – 2022 NHL Draft Projection
Gauthier looks like he could be drafted anywhere from the mid-to-late first round. Teams that may be looking for an immediate-impact type player would have to wait on him as he’s committed to Boston College for the 2022-23 season. However, teams like the Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes or Buffalo Sabres, who could use some goalscoring and hold multiple first-round picks may use one on him. He was ranked as an A-prospect on the NHL Central Scouting 21-22 Preliminary Players To Watch List, which projects a prospect to be a first round candidate.
“Gauthier has the tools that can make you easily envision him in the NHL. He has a thick [6-foot-2] frame and can skate like an NHL player. With his size and speed he can overpower opponents to force turnovers or in how he attacks the net. Gauthier can create with his skating and skill, but his main offensive weapon is his shot. He can pick corners from distance with a powerful wrist shot. He can make some plays but isn’t the most cerebral player, which could limit his offensive production as he advances levels. I see him as a middle six forward, either a second line winger or a third line center.” – Corey Pronman (from, ‘The 2022 NHL Draft ranking: Pronman’s Top 32 Prospects at the midseason mark,’ The Athletic, Jan. 19, 2022)
“Overall, there is a LOT to like about Gauthier’s entire game. He can be relied upon to get the job done in every single role he’s cast into and is certainly in the minds of his opponents whenever his skates touch the ice. If he can simply fine tune some of the “rough around the edges” aspects to his game mentioned above, as well as continue his developmental path, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the not-so-distant future.” – Paul Zuk, Smaht Scouting
“Gauthier is a power forward with higher-end skill than your average player of his cut. His presence is felt on every shift, throwing his body around and getting involved in every scrum he can.… Gauthier has a very intriguing package that NHL teams should start to look at in the middle of the first. He likely becomes a contributing bottom-six forward, but does have the tools to be a player that moves up and down the lineup and performs.” – Josh Bell, FC Hockey
- Explosive skating and edge-work
- Wrist shot
- Two-way play
- Positional versatility
- Special teams reliability
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Pass reception
- Shot selection
Gauthier has the potential to fit in several slots on an NHL lineup due to his positional flexibility, and it’ll make him a valuable player to any team; contending or building. However, the middle-six forward role may be his most suitable spot. He could be that second-line, play-driving, scoring winger due to his shot, explosiveness and on-puck strength or as a third-line center who will contribute offensively, but is responsible defensively. As he continues to develop, his special teams responsibility should continue to grow and he’d be a staple on both power-play and penalty-killing units.
An NHL comparison would be the current longest-tenured New York Ranger, Chris Kreider, who’s in the midst of a career year. The pair are of similar size and Kreider gets involved physically, has explosive speed and a strong shot. He’s a winger, but has been contributing in the faceoff dot when needed and is on pace for a career high in faceoff attempts, while this being the first season he’s really been relied on to kill penalties. If Gauthier can continue in his development in this direction, it’ll make a lot of teams happy.
Risk – 2/5, Reward –4.5 /5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense- 8/10, Defense- 7.5/10
Cutter Gauthier Statistics
An article from the USNTDP giving some background on Gauthier, and his relationship with his father who played professional hockey.
Sean Raggio lives for hockey. He will be covering the Seattle Kraken, and is a co-host of “What’s Kraken” for THW. Sean gained experience in writing for television, print and radio while studying journalism at Quinnipiac University and being an active member in the student media organizations there. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out on Twitter! A link can be found at the bottom of his articles, such as this one.