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Flyers’ Cutter Gauthier Should Stick To Plan Of Returning To Boston College

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Cutter Gauthier at World Championships (Photo courtesy of IIFH)
Cutter Gauthier at World Championships (Photo courtesy of IIFH)

One of Cutter Gauthier’s draft-class peers might be waffling about returning to college. Logan Cooley, instead, might sign with the Arizona Coyotes.

Cooley was the third overall pick in 2022, two selections ahead of Gauthier, one of the Philadelphia Flyers’ top prospects. Gauthier announced in March he was going back to Boston College for his sophomore season.

But the Cooley news — as reported by Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports — was interesting and might have given pause to some players and organizations. Cooley had said he planned to return to the University of Minnesota for his sophomore year.

AN UPDATE: The Coyotes announced Thursday afternoon that Cooley signed a three-year deal.

“We are thrilled to sign Logan to an NHL contract,” Arizona GM Bill Armstrong said in a statement. “Logan is an incredibly skilled player who had an excellent season with the Golden Gophers last year. He has established himself as one of the top prospects in the world. He is a very important player for us, and he has an extremely bright future ahead. We look forward to watching him play for the Coyotes for many years to come.”

 

“I don’t really have a problem,” with Gauthier going back to BC, Flyers general manager Daniel Briere said in the spring. “I think it’s going to give him a chance to hopefully be even more dominant than he was this year.

“Another year at World Juniors. I’m really excited about it.”

The decision made sense for the Flyers and Gauthier. The Flyers aren’t playoff ready and Gauthier can get stronger and continue to work on his game. Win-win. Why rush him?

Gauthier Dominant

Since Gauthier told the Flyers he was returning to BC, he had an outstanding World Championships for Team USA. He was the second-youngest American on the team and he often dominated play. He scored seven goals and two assists in 10 games, and won the praise of teammates and opponents.

“We told them about our vision and what we see moving forward, and he had a discussion with his adviser and family, and they decided it was better for him to go back another year,” Briere said back in the spring.

“We’re going to get a bigger, better, faster, more mature Cutter Gauthier the following year,” Briere said, referring to the 2024-25 season, the expected target date for Gauthier to play in Philadelphia.

“So I’m really excited about his development this year.”

During the Coyotes’ recent Development Camp, Cooley said: “For right now, I’m on track for going back and helping Minnesota win a national championship and continuing to grow my game.

“But I’m still gonna evaluate some things. I don’t want the media to go crazy thinking that I’m not going back to school, but there’s a little bit of thought to put into it.”

Belongs At BC

If Cooley signs with Arizona, good for him. [He did.] That’s the path he believes is best for his career. Cooley’s decision shouldn’t overly influence Gauthier.

There’s no reason to think Gauthier will change his mind about BC. On a podcast, Gauthier talked about how he loves BC, college life, his teammates and the local Chipotle.

He led BC in goals (16) and points (37) in 32 games as a freshman. He is regarded as one of the Flyers’ top two prospects with Matvei Michkov. Today, Gauthier begins play in the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich.

When college hockey season begins in the fall, Gauthier should be in Chestnut Hill, Mass. If going back to school was the right idea in the spring, it’s probably the right idea now. The Flyers aren’t going anywhere.

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