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01-20-2013, 11:07 PM
hab 4ever
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Montréal, Québec
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Originally Posted by Mats86 View Post
You never answered my question how you see Gauthier's game translating to NHL game.

I asked this because as a generaly rule of thumb players like Gauthier generally their game don't translate well to NHL game. They lack first step quickness, intensity and the extra gear. Size, hands and skating alone will only go so far. If it did guys like Joe Colbourne, Bruce Graham, Kevin Veilleux wouldn't have struggled so badly once they turned pro. They were once either late 1st or 2nd round picks who have underachieved to date.

Best I see Gauthier is third line, defensive shut down center. With his size, hands, skating and face-off ability, he probably be best third line center in league some day. But he is not a guy I would target in early/mid first round. Many players besides Nurse or Erne I would take ahead of Gauthier. Zadarov be great, teamed with Tinordi someday what a twin towers they would make. Morin could be also. Unless Gauthier starts to slide, if he does and Habs have a late 1st or early 2nd he could be an excellent pick up.
It is just that the Gauthier you are describing has nothing to do with the Gauthier have seen play a few times in Midget AAA last year and a several more times this year. Gauthier does not lack intensity. Perhaps tall players tend to look like that because some stuff is effortless for them but he is an intense, hardworking two-player. Gauthier has nothing in common with any of Bruce Graham, Veilleux or Colbourne! Please! Gauthier is looking like a surefire first rounder in the best draft in a decade. He is twice the prospect these first 2 guys are (+ better than Colbourne) and has nothing in common with them in terms of playing style. Besides, Gauthier's main strength remains his hockey sense which can't be said of any guys you compared him too. His two-way play/3 zones play is second to none in this draft. Furthermore, his skating is not bad. It is in fact good for a player his size and there is room for improvement as there is room for him to add muscle to his 6'5" frame. Acceleration is the main area to improve but keep in mind this is rookie QMJHL season as opposed to some guys in this draft who are in their third year in this draft. Finally, Gauthier's ceiling is Jordan Staal and he is a fairly safe pick. I think he can become a top two-way second line center à la J.Staal/P. Bergeron (different style than the latter though) and his floor is that of a top defensive forward. I feel that given his ability, room for improvement and progress in last 12 months, he can reach his potential and thus be a top-6 center.

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