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Tampa Bay Lightning Top 25 Under 25: #4 Ethan Gauthier

Ethan Gauthier making a pass ing his white CHL Top Prospects game jersey.
Jan 25, 2023; Langley, BC, CANADA; CHL Top Prospects team white forward Ethan Gauthier (79) warms up in the CHL Top Prospects ice hockey game at Langley Events Centre. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

We took a look at all 35 players in the system that are aged 25 or younger (as of October 1, 2023) and ranked them. It’s the Top 25 Under 25. At #4, it’s the newest top prospect in the franchise, Ethan Gauthier from Phoenix!


Age: 18

Position: Right Wing

Draft: 2023 Round 2 (#37 overall)

2023-24 Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

2022 Ranking: NA


Scouting Report

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Ethan Gauthier grew up in Quebec and is most recently playing for Drummondville in the QMJHL. This dual-threat offensive winger spent time with Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka (now called Hlinka-Gretzky) summer tournament last year with the U18s and shot the lights out with six goals and seven points in five games. Over the course of his draft year, he scored a point per game in the QMJHL with Sherbrooke, finishing third in league scoring among U18s.

Overall, Gauthier is still a very raw talent, who can do great things with the puck on his stick, but as a young teenager still has a long way to go. Considering he was taken 37th overall in the pick gotten for Ross Colton, he’s a very promising, high-upside pick by the Lightning. Probably their first outside the first round in some time.

When I say dual threat, I speak to Gauthier’s playmaking ability with the puck on his stick — specifically his passing, as well as his hands, feet, and shooting ability both from in tight and from distance.

In the highlights I’ve linked below, you can break down Gauthier’s offense into three categories. Snipes for the water bottle from distance with a quick release, dropping the shoulder on the rush and dangling to get a shot off, and hard passes to dangerous areas with great timing and precision.

For a young prospect who has years ahead of him before the rigors of AHL defense are needed, this is exactly the upside you want to see and nurture in a young player. We haven’t seen much of his defensive game, especially since he was sent back to his junior team very early in training camp, but that doesn’t need to come until he’s nearing the end of his junior career and with years in the AHL.

Talented players make it work, when most prospects have a baseline capacity to backcheck and play away from the puck, it’s all about upside whether they make the NHL. For Gauthier, he has that top-six potential the Lightning haven’t seen in their prospect pool for a while, with all due respect to Duke and Howard.

“April 2023 – For an average-sized winger, Gauthier’s physicality really stands out. He is both adept at and unafraid of throwing his weight around on the forecheck, while also displaying an impressive ability to stay in the play rather than chase hits. Most of his shots occur in the slot, which he manages by timing his offensive movement to perfection. A push-off here, a curl-up-and-funnel-down play there, and Gauthier has his stick up between the dots, ready to one-time it at a moment’s notice. He displays intelligence in almost every offensive scenario, but his puck skills being average or slightly above-average across the board, as well as his lack of defensive consistency, make him more of a late first-rounder. In Gauthier, you’re getting a player with all the physical tools and mental habits to become an NHLer, but who lacks true star power. An ideal pick for a contender with its fair share of stars already.” 

Hadi Kalakeche – Dobber

“He acts as the link between his teammates’ plays. He one-touches the puck to them in transition and helps move the puck from lane to lane to break in the offensive zone. And there, he keeps the puck in control of his team and improves the dangerousness of the offence by winning board battles, passing through and around defenders, and by rushing the net to tip shots and get his stick on rebounds.”

EliteProspects 2023 NHL Draft Guide


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