With The 28th Pick, the Leafs Select……

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Another day with no real news around the hockey world. A little thing did happen……

….. but whatever. Onto another draft prospect.

Ethan Gauthier
Position: Right Wing
Shoots: Right
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 176lbs
NHL Comparable: Dawson Mercer

A Leafs fans first reaction here is “another small winger? How about no!!” but Ethan Gauthier could potentially be the steal of the draft. Son of former NHLer Denis Gauthier, Ethan plays the game with a high level of energy. He’s fantastic on the forecheck, is happy to play in the corners and dig for pucks and knows exactly where the front of the net is. His hands are soft and he is adept at both finishing and setting up scoring chances. His defensive awareness is among the best in this class and the only real knock on him is that he isn’t the fastest skater out there. He also produced less in the second half of the season than he did in the first, ending the year with 69pts in 66 games for the QMJHL’s Sherbrook Phoenix. This raises questions about his ability to produce big numbers at the next level, but what scouts are sure of is that his effort level will always be there. With Gauthier you’re getting a player that you know will put everything he has into every shift and the Leafs could really use more of that.

The projection for Gauthier is that of a middle six winger that can play in all situations, which is where my Dawson Mercer comparison comes from. For all we know he could exceed those expectations, but it’s much easier to picture him as a Sam Lafferty type of 3rd/4th liner that plays a physical style of game and helps on the scoresheet a little bit.

Congratulations to the Vegas Golden Knights and former Toronto Maple Leaf, Phil Kessel, on winning the Stanley Cup, I guess.