2022 NHL Entry Draft Mock: How Will the Board Fall?

2022 NHL Entry Draft (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
2022 NHL Entry Draft (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
Cutter Gauthier. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images) /

Cutter Gauthier Prospect Profile

The Red Wings are in no way, shape or form ready to compete right now. They have 11 players that are without a contract for next season. Furthermore, next off-season, they have 11 more players without contracts. That’s not necessarily a problem they have to worry about right now per say, but they need to consider finding replacements for some of these players. I like Cutter Gauthier here for that role.

Pro Scout Breakdown

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic:

"“As the season progressed, Gauthier’s athletic build and pro-built game pushed him from projected first-rounder to top-10 consideration for some teams. And while I’m not quite there, the appeal is obvious. “Gauthier has always been a net-focused shooter but he has worked to turn himself into a net-driven one, playing a more intentional game that knows what it is. On the puck, he uses inside body positioning to get to the middle off the cycle or the rush. Off of it, he finishes his checks and looks to help his line get it back. I wouldn’t say he’s a menacing power forward type, but he has learned to play a very engaged, imposing, speed game. “Gauthier’s a decently-smooth skater and despite his heavy skew toward shooting and goals, I find he sees the ice well, hits seams when they’re there, and makes a lot of short little plays as a passer off the wall (including off his backhand). “His greatest strength is his catch-and-release. He can sling it. I do think he shoots a bit too much (a lot of his shots miss the net or are taken from low-percentage areas), but you can live with that and that should drop out as he gets even strong over his NHL frame. He’s a favourite among scouts for the readymade projectability of his tools and his ability to put the puck in the net. “Though Gauthier played mostly the wing at the national program, he’s set to play centre at Boston College next season and several NHL clubs that interviewed him at the scouting combine believe that’s where he’s best suited.”"

My Analysis

Cutter Gauthier is one of the biggest risers in this draft class. He went from being a name that I didn’t really know, to becoming one of the guys I truly feel could be a top pick in the draft. Moreover, I feel like he is going to succeed at the next level.

Now, full disclosure, I’m not saying that he is Connor McDavid by my next statement, but I see similarities in how they’ve developed and grown as players.

McDavid before this post-season, was always avoiding going into the dirty areas of the net, making big hits, taking big hits to make plays, he just wasn’t that guy. However, this post-season, he was doing things I’d never seen from him before. He was going after guys and putting some hits on the opposition. He was going inside with force instead of speed. He grew as a player because he learned how to expand his game and that is exactly what I’ve seen of Gauthier.

Gauthier is a very quick skater which is what he primarily relied on before this season. He relied on his speed and a great wrist shot that has been compared to Vegas Golden Knights winger, Max Pacioretty. And if I’m Gauthier, I’d take that compliment without a doubt. And if I’m a Red Wings fan, that is getting me excited about what he could one day be.

Now, to move off that topic and explain why I made this selection here- we need to revisit what I said earlier in this article.

Earlier I said that the Red Wings need to find a center two and a elite goal scorer. Well, with Gauthier, you got a two in one combo for the price of one pick(and about $900,000 for three years).

Gauthier has the elite shot that could be the thing we have been missing. The wrister that he has could allow him to become a perennial goal scorer and that be his identity. Now, he will probably never get to the Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak, Max Pacioretty level because, well that’s just unfair to compare him too. I mean, he hasn’t even played in an AHL game little lone a NHL game. Comparing him to proven players is an unfair statement. But what I will say is that with his skillset, the sky is the limit for him.

Learning and playing alongside guys like Lucas Raymond, Jakub Vrana, Dylan Larkin, Joe Veleno, and many more, they could truly become one of the best generational teams if they can add his speed and shot into their lineup along with everyone else they have.