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Cutter Gauthier was Fired Up at First Meeting with Flyers’ John Tortorella



Cutter Gauthier
Cutter Gauthier

When the Philadelphia Flyers claw their way back to respectability, you figure John Tortorella and 2022 first-round draft pick Cutter Gauthier will help lead the charge.

Tortorella and Gauthier first crossed paths in the summer of 2022 at Philadelphia Flyers Development Camp.

Imagine the scene: Tortorella had been on the job less than a month. The no-nonsense coach who was trying to develop a culture with his new team.

Gauthier, 18 at the time, fifth overall draft pick, a combination of big man on campus but maybe a little nervous, trying to fit in with his new organization.

“The first story I have of him was … at Development Camp,” Gauthier said on the Empty Netters podcast.

“It was at their practice facility and we were in the locker room. He was giving everyone a speech. We’re all in the stalls, the Flyers guys and all that.

“Everything’s done, he walks out and everyone’s walking out to the next thing. We had a pretty busy schedule that week. Everyone’s just walking right by him.

“He’s talking to a couple other staff members or whatever it may be. Everyone’s … walking right by.

“I moved a staff member guy out of the way, I was like, ‘Hey, Cutter Gauthier [hand extended], it’s really nice to meet you. I’m looking forward to playing for you soon.’

“He’s like, ‘Bleep yeah! I love that bleep! It’s great to meet you, too!’

“I was sitting there like, ‘Uhhh, it’s nice to meet you, too. I’m glad you’re that pumped to meet me!’

“First time meeting this dude and he’s like stoked. I’m like all right, sweet, let’s do it. Let’s go.”

Gauthier and BC

Gauthier, a 6-foot-2, 189-pound forward, led the Boston College Eagles with 16 goals and 21 assists last season as a freshman. He was a plus-2. BC struggled through a 14-16-6 season. BC was 8-11 with five ties, eighth in Hockey East.

Gauthier will return to BC for his sophomore season.  A likely scenario is for him to play professionally maybe after his college season — either in the AHL or with the Flyers. Gauthier and 2023 first-round pick Matvei Michkov are among the top NHL prospects. Gauthier also had an outstanding World Championship tournament in May, scoring seven goals in 10 games.

Gauthier said after he was drafted, he stayed in touch with then-Flyers winger Kevin Hayes, a fellow Boston College guy.

“I keep in touch with Kevin Hayes a lot, a lot of BC guys,” Gauthier said on the Empty Netters podcast. “I was pretty fortunate enough to be pretty close to Kevin this past year, shooting him a couple of calls.

“At the beginning of the year, he took me out golfing, too, which was super classy of him. Really nice guy.

“He’s been super nice since Day One. He texted me right after the draft. He’s been a beauty since.”

Gauthier was born in Skellefteå, Sweden, where his father, Sean, a goalie, played professional hockey after playing in the minor leagues from 1991-2002. He then played in Sweden for four seasons. Sean Gauthier played one game in the NHL, for the Sharks.

Penguins, Crosby fan

There was a moment on the podcast when Gauthier revealed his favorite team as a kid: The Penguins. The Pittsburgh Penguins.

“Originally I was an Arizona Coyotes fan [he grew up in Scottsdale, Ariz.] but at the same time I was a Pittsburgh fan, too,” Gauthier said.

“Did that have anything to do with [Sidney] Crosby?” asked one of the podcast hosts.

“Yeah, my favorite player growing up was Crosby, for many reasons,” Gauthier said. “The one cool thing that I loved about him: I saw a video of him growing up and he was shooting pucks in the [clothes] dryer. So, I would do the same thing, shoot pucks at the dryer, try to be Sid the Kid.

“After the draft, I was wearing all Philly stuff, and one of the questions they asked you was ‘Who was your favorite team growing up?’ I was like ‘Pittsburgh Penguins.’

“That was my team, and I got absolutely ripped for that. I was looking at the comments after. I’m looking at half of them and I’m like, ‘That’s strike one for me.’ If I do anymore, I’m done. I’m out of there. It was fun.”

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