Cutter Gauthier decided he was going to return to college for another season rather than jump to the NHL. I know a lot of fans were upset about the 19-year-old wanting to return to Boston College, but the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft will continue to develop and gain confidence in the NCAA. In fact, a lot of the college players coming to the NHL are more NHL ready than draft picks from juniors. Noah Cates is a great example of a player developing in the NCAA.
The college game has become very similar to that of the NHL. Speed and skill are king at this level while also playing on an NHL rink. It is nice to see that the college game has evolved to the point that kids playing in college are able to compete at an NHL level. In fact, I think letting these picks develop in college is better for them in the long run.
Gauthier has star potential. His combination of speed, scoring ability and a high IQ can only get better at Boston College, where the main job of the coaching staff is to develop their players. While they are also going to school and doing other college activities, there aren’t as many distractions as being an NHL player. The Philadelphia media isn’t going to be watching his every play and stride on the ice. Gauthier is free to make mistakes and learn from them while not being under a microscope.
Watching Gauthier play for Team USA over the last couple weeks has been nothing short of breathtaking. Gauthier looks confident whenever he is carrying the puck. Almost as if he has been playing the game at an elite level for years. Gauthier has all the makings of an elite goal scorer.
There is a chance Gauthier comes to the Flyers towards the end of the season and he could make a small impact. he is going to be relied on to become a big piece of this rebuild. Pair him with Joel Farabee and Sean Couturier and we might see another top line form on this team. If Gauthier develops more in college, the Flyers could see this rebuild take a giant leap forward.