What Will The Flyers Do With Cutter Gauthier?
Cutter Gauthier’s freshman season with Boston College has officially ended with an OT loss to Merrimack. Gauthier will finish the year with 16G-21A-37P in 31 games.
He was named Third Team All-Star for Hockey East and was an unanimous selection to the Hockey East All-Rookie team.
Gauthier played center this year for Boston, somewhere the Flyers seem set on developing him. 37 points in 31 games as a freshman, considering the drop-off of talent after him, is impressive.
Now, the question many Flyers fans are now asking themselves…what do they do with Gauthier?
Stay in School, Kid
Considering the recent Chuck firing and the reports coming out that this organization seems set on doing this rebuild the right way, I think it’s a no-brainer to let Cutter go back to school. Let him play with that elite freshman class coming in next year, led by projected top 6 pick in the 2023 draft, Will Smith.
Imagine what he would put up with other really good players around him? Why let him play on what is probably going to be a bottom-10 team again next year when he can try and lead Boston College to a potential National Championship?
Cutter added some playmaking into his game this season as well. Something that some analysts and scouts had questions about. Letting him go back to college and continue to add that to his game, that already has an NHL shot, is the right move.
Another go at WJC, in a more mature role, is another exciting prospect for Gauthier. He had 10P in 7 games in the last WJC, seeing what he could do next year in a more expanded role would be fun.
It kind of reminds me of when Cam York played in the WJC as a freshman for Michigan and didn’t really get to play because of older talent in front of him. The next year, York is named captain of Team USA and leads them to gold.
Gauthier’s situation is a little different in the sense that Cutter didn’t get shoved down the lineup because of older talent, he was on the first line the entire tournament. Still, it is the same in the way that Cutter will 100% take on a bigger role, just as York did, and hopefully have the same kind of result.
Sign ELC and Turn Pro Now
I don’t see the Flyers wanting to sign Cutter, but if he sits down with his family in the next couple of days and decides that turning pro now is what he wants to do, do they tell him no?
You could argue that Cutter’s game translates well to the NHL now and he would be just fine. He’s a big guy that likes to play physically, has tons of skill, and plays with good pace. His shot is absolutely NHL ready and I just talked about his progress in adding a bit of playmaking to his game.
This is all true, but the argument for me isn’t about Cutter’s skill alone. If we are soely talking about if I think he could turn pro based on skill alone, absolutely.
If the Flyers were in the spot where it made sense for Cutter to turn pro, I would be singing a different tune, but considering where they are finally trying to go with this team, it just doesn’t make sense.
I understand wanting something exciting to happen in regard to this team, and Cutter signing his ELC would certainly be the most exciting thing to happen to this franchise in a while.
I mean for crying out loud, the best that happened regarding this team before they fired Chuck Fletcher…was when they fired the guy he replaced?
It’s been nothing but pain for what seems like forever so I get wanting any sliver of light, but Gauthier going back to school is for the best.
Now We Wait
All we can do now is wait and see what happens. Gauthier will probably take the next few days to talk to his family and see what’s best for him.
I’ll be spending the next few days bouncing back and forth between wanting to watch him now and knowing what’s best for not only Gauthier, but the Flyers.
Only 16 games left. Hold on tight.
Mandatory Credit: Johnny Ulecka