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Carchidi Column: Cutter Gauthier Gives the Flyers’ Future Hope

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Cutter Gauthier, Philadelphia Flyers
Center Cutter Gauthier, now at BC, meets the media after the Flyers drafted him No. 5 overall in July. Photo: Zack Hill.

Cutter Gauther gives the Philadelphia Flyers’ sleepy offense hope for the future.

And that future doesn’t look too far away.

After the Flyers drafted Gauthier No. 5 overall in the July draft, the 6-foot-2 1/2, 200-pound center said his goal was to play one year at Boston College and then head to the NHL.

He’s on track.

Gauthier, who turns 19 in about two months, has six goals in his first eight games for BC. He has been compared to former Flyer Jeff Carter. Even if he falls short of that, he will be a terrific addition to the Flyers, who desperately need a bonafide sniper.

If Sean Couturier returns to good health, the Flyers’ top three centers next year could be Couturier, Kevin Hayes, and Gauthier. Give the kid a few years in the NHL and it’s not difficult envisioning him as the team’s No. 1 center.

He will bring speed, a powerful shot, physicality, and good hands into the lineup.

The Flyers lack in all of those areas, except physicality.

Despite their strong start this season, the Flyers have a decent chance to get another top-five pick in the deep 2023 draft — and certainly a top-10 selection — so this Gauthier-led rebuild should start gaining momentum.

Tops list

When Philly Hockey Now did its Flyers prospects list before the season, Gauthier was No. 1.

Here is the list:  1. Gauthier; 2. defenseman Emil Andrae; 3. right winger Tyson Foerster; 4. right winger Wade Allison; 5. right winger Bobby Brink; 6. left winger-center Noah Cates; 7. defenseman Egor Zamula; 8. center/winger Tanner Laczynski; 9. defenseman Ronnie Attard; and 10. left winger Elliot Desnoyers.

Allison (injured), Cates (six points in 16 games) and Zamula (two points, plus-1 in nine games) are currently with the Flyers, and Laczynski (two points in 12 games) was recently sent down to the Phantoms. Brink, who led all NCAA scorers in points last season, had hip surgery in July and is expected back in December or January. He was injured while working out.

Andrae (three goals, four assists in 15 games) is playing well for a weak team n the Swedish Hockey League. Foerster (seven points in 11 games), Attard (six points, plus-1 in 11 games) and Desnoyers (six points, including four goals, in 11 games) have been strong contributors for the Phantoms.

The prospect list does not include players who are no longer considered NHL rookies, such as Cam York and Morgan Frost.

The jury is still out on Frost, and York is playing well for Lehigh Valley and will probably be back with the Flyers at some point this season. York is a key member of the Philadelphia Flyers’ future, and probably will be their power-play quarterback at some point.

But Gauthier could be their cornerstone.

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