2020-21 Team: Prince George Cougars
Date of Birth: Feb. 15, 2001
Place of Birth: Calgary, AB, Canada
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 198 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 third-year-eligible
- NHL Central Scouting : 18th (amongst NA goaltenders)
This is Gauthier’s third kick at the can for the NHL Draft as he went unselected in 2019 and 2020. Despite being older than most of the competition, he showed that he is deserving of being drafted once again. He made Team Canada’s World Junior team this season and became the first-ever player to make said team when being passed over twice in the draft. Most importantly, he has shown that he is one of the best in the Western Hockey League (WHL) over the past two seasons.
Gauthier, from Calgary, was a star in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League before coming over to the WHL. Through two seasons with the Calgary Bisons, he registered a record of 31-1-4 while posting a .949% save percentage (SV%) and a 1.21 goals-against average (GAA). He was named top goaltender in the league in back-to-back seasons and won the Alberta Cup.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Since coming to Prince George, Gauthier has been one of the most consistent goaltenders in the league. He finished with the most minutes played in 2019-20 and has a career .904 SV% through 152 games. Last season, he had his best season in the WHL, registering a .915% SV% and a 2.74 GAA in 15 games. His save percentage this season was ranked eighth in the WHL amongst all starters. If the playoffs were held this year, his performance would have helped the Cougars clinch their first playoff spot since 2016-17.
The main issue since Gauthier has joined Prince George is the team around him. The Cougars have missed the playoffs every season he has been there, which is why his record is 46-82-16. The good news is that he has been improving every season and has helped a rebuilding team stay competitive in the WHL. Despite his age, he is a player teams should consider selecting in the year’s NHL draft.
Taylor Gauthier- NHL Draft Projection
Due to his age, if drafted, Gauthier will go in the seventh round. He is worth the risk for teams as he is more NHL ready than most in the draft, but being passed over twice will play a factor in his draft stock.
“A fun player to watch, Gauthier brings confidence and swagger to the goaltending position. He plays with a ton of fire and seems to relish net-front battles and the opportunity to put his body on the line. While he uses his size and compete level to his advantage, he has an unorthodox stance and can be a bit clunky in his movements.” – FC Hockey
“He gets a little scrambly. Let’s be clear, I’m not saying he’s Dominik Hasek, but it’s that kind of style, which can be a little scary. And when Dominik Hasek was being rated early on, no one thought he’d be Hasek.” – NHL scout via Sports Illustrated
- Glove hand
- Willingness to never give up on the play
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Rebound Control
The fact that Team Canada is so high on this player indicates that he may be better than some think. If he can get a little more structure in his game, Gauthier should have a chance at being a backup in the NHL. He has a good foundation, which should help him climb the ranks in the AHL to the NHL in the next few seasons.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 3/5
- 2014 – 2016 Back to Back AMBHL Top Goaltender
- 2017 U-16 WCCC Gold Medalist
- 2019 CHL Top Prospects Game
- 2019 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Gold Medalist
- 2020 WHL Most Minutes Played
- 2021 WJC Silver Medalist
Taylor Gauthier Statistics
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken team. His work can also be found at dubnetwork.ca where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. Adam is excited to be part of the Kraken’s inaugural season and ready to bring you in depth coverage of the NHL’s 32nd team.