Date of Birth: October 15, 1997 (18)
Place of Birth: Pointe-aux-Trembles, TC, CAN
Ht: 6’4” Wt: 225 lbs
Position: Right Wing
Team: Val-d’Or (QMJHL)
What Scouts See
Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
An explosive power forward who boasts an elite-level skill package. Takes nothing for granted and plays with hard-nosed work ethic. Tremendous vision and outstanding hockey sense; thrives under pressure and doesn't stray from the high-percentage play. Willingness to play physical and win battles in his own end makes him a vital asset, stepping up at the game's key moments.
Mike Morreale, NHL.com
The 6-3, 225-pound power forward is the only player on Canada's roster eligible for the 2016 draft. He leads Val-d'Or in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 29 goals and eight power-play goals. He also has 37 points and a plus-17 rating in 30 games. "He can skate and hit and finds ways to get open and shoot the puck," NHL Central Scouting's Troy Dumville said. "He has better playmaking skills then his eight assists indicate, and plays both ends of the ice."
He is a big, strong winger with a powerful stride and impressive top speed. He is tough to contain when he is at the top of his game. Consistency has been an issue in the past but he remains an enormous prospect with many impressive pro traits, such as a rocket of a shot and terrific vision in traffic. Can be creative with the puck and set up his teammates with well-timed passes; is a beast along the wall and in the corners.
What BSN Avalanche sees
Julien Gauthier is the definition of a power forward. He combines skill and size in an enviable way, making his presence known on the ice either through hard hits or spectacular plays. He’s equally strong defensively as he is offensively, due in large part to his ability to track the puck. He sees the ice well and will find the open man or real estate to generate a play or take the play home. He’s reminiscent of Gabriel Landeskog, looking very much like a man among boys in size, strength and hockey sense. He has a strong and accurate shot, but he doesn’t make the selfish play to get the goal. Gauthier is an all-around gem who plays every inch of ice with heart.
Given his hockey IQ and his size, it would be surprising if Gauthier didn’t establish himself as an NHL regular early in his career. He’s the type of player all teams covet as true power forwards are a rare commodity. While he may not project as a top-line winger, he certainly has the ability and vision to be successful on the second line of an NHL club.
Expected Draft Position
Gauthier is all over the board with projections as high as 12th by Central Scouting and as low as 43rd by Craig Button of TSN. Most likely he’ll be drafted somewhere in the bottom third of the first round, though going top 15 would not be surprising. His skill set is a staple of any good team. Dropping into the second round, while not implausible, is unlikely.
How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization
The Avalanche could definitely use another power forward with Jarome Iginla losing his step. A guy like Gauthier would complement the top six well, and he has the size that the Avs’s front office wants. More importantly, he uses his size well and would make a valuable addition to the team. The question is whether or not he’s worth a tenth overall selection. In short, probably not. But if he’s available at the next go around for the Avs—whether that’s in the second round or later in the first as a result of some trade—they’d be wise to seriously consider it.