NHL Draft

Ethan Gauthier 2023 NHL Draft Profile

The 2023 NHL Draft class is shaping up to be one of the most explosive and deep classes in recent memory. The projected first round is littered with offensive firepower and athletes who might legitimately have Hall of Fame potential. The mid to late first-round projections this draft are difficult to rank, but Ethan Gauthier makes a strong case to be a first-round pick.

Gauthier’s gritty playstyle and offensive upside make the winger an intriguing prospect. Gauthier is the top prospect emerging from the QMJHL this draft class, rightfully so considering his loud playstyle.

Who is Ethan Gauthier?

Ethan GauthierRWR5’11” / 180cm176lbs / 80kg

Gauthier was born on January 26, 2005 in Phoenix, Arizona but has dual American and Canadian citizenship. Ethan, son of former NHLer Denis Gauthier was born when Denis played is only season in Phoenix. Denis played 554 games in the NHL, amassing 70 points and 748 penalty minutes. Ethan is a much more offensive player than his Dad but, still has some of his edge.

Ethan Gauthier plays for the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the QMJHL and recently played for team Canada at the U18 Helinka Gretzky Cup. Sherbrooke drafted Gauthier first overall in the 2021 QMJHL Entry Draft.

Gauthier’s on-ice production

Gauthier’s speed, passing and great hands create offense off the rush, with possession, and on the powerplay. Gauthier has an extremely high motor and is constantly on loose pucks. He creates turnovers, delivers hits, and can undress a defender with his puck handling. Understandable why he sits so high on some draft boards.

SeasonDraft RelativeLeagueTeamGPGAP
2016–17D-6LHPS M15 MajeurCollège St-Bernard M15 Maj2000
2017–18D-5LPHS M15 MajeurCollège St-Bernard M15 Maj “C”2691019
2018–19D-4QBAAABois-Francs Cascades Bantam AAA3081220
2019–20D-3QBAAABois-Francs Cascades Bantam AAA “A”23132740
D-3QMEAAMarie-Rivier Canimex Espoir1000
2020–21D-2QMAAAMagog Cantonniers0000
2021–22D-1QMJHLSherbrooke Phoenix65182139
2022–23D+0QMJHLSherbrooke Phoenix66303969
D+0Hlinka Gretzky CupCanada U185617

One area Gauthier has struggled is in his offensive production. His offensive game rose this season but he struggles to break over a point per game despite his skill.

Gauthier’s rookie season with the Sherbrooke Phoenix started off well, clocking itat 0.6 points per game. The winger’s second season saw him boost his offensive production to a career-high. His hands and confidence with the puck combine to make highlight real plays.

Gauthier has great awareness and can find passing lanes on or off of the puck. His feet are constantly moving and his hustle is noticeable every single shift.

Not only are his feet always moving but he’s consistent with his play. Every shift his effort is there and evident by the amount of pucks battles he wins and his strong back checking.

Ethan Gauthier’s strengths

Work ethic

Lots of guys have hustle but Gauthier displays it at another level compared to his competition in the QMJHL. The winger can commonly be found with inside position infront of the net, bursting to the blue line to pinch an opponent and steal the puck, or delivering a hit.

He’s always moving his feet winning puck battles and relentlessly pursuing loose picks. Effort plays are at the core of Gauthier’s game, he can accumulate numerous forced turnovers a shift.

His confidence is unwavering, delivering hits to bigger defenders, driving the middle of the ice and knocked opponents off him while carrying the puck. He’s every coach’s dream if you imagine a “110% effort.”

Puck handling and possession

Gauthier has strong puck handling abilities. He can quickly deke a defender off the rush and also handle the puck well in tight and along the boards.

The winger can maintain possession incredibly well and is especially creative in the corners. He uses his body well to maintain puck possession but at 5’11” he has to rely on his hands.

He’s a puck magnet and once he has possession, is difficult for defenders. He handles the puck very well on his backhand and has the ability to maintain the puck through pressure off the rush.

Passing and awareness

Gauthier utilizes his hands and feet well to create opportunities for his teammates. He’s controlled with the puck and always analyzing the ice, patient, waiting for lanes to open.

Off the puck he’s constantly moving in the zone looking for passing lanes, often getting the puck to the net quickly in the slot and creating two or three chances in tight.

His ability to analyze the ice quickly allow him to make one touch passes across the crease and from behind the net.

200-foot game

Gauthier is one of the best 200-foot players in this draft class and is one of his most desirable traits. The winger in constantly breaking up passes and stripping opponents of the puck in all three zones.

He’s break at breaking the puck out of his own zone with his passing of puck handling ability and never passes up an opportunity to lay a big hit.

He plays with his heart on his sleeve but isn’t dirty, he just constantly on the puck with intensity. He can fight off multiple defenders for puck possession and is great along the boards. His stick is constantly moving on defence and he back checks incredibly well.

Ethan Gauthier’s areas of improvement


Gauthier isn’t the fastest player on the ice and his stride could be improved to boost his game in the NHL. He relies on his awareness and hands more so and it creates great opportunities combined with his effort.

His top-end speed improving would make his offensive game more difficult to defend at the next level.

Offensive production

Gauthier is a good offensive player but he’s not among the top in this class. His work ethic set him apart but there’s still more offence to be desired. If Gauthier can play at a point-per-game one day in the NHL he would be an amazing player combined with his defensive game and hustle.

His shot needs work and his finishing ability lacks in some scenarios. He can pass the puck well and that will likely be the focus of his game at the next level.

Ethan Gauthier’s comparables

Ethan models his game after Brady Tkachuk, and he’s doing a pretty good job. The two are both great checking forwards with offensive ability. Not the greatest skaters but hard on the puck and always playing aggressive.

Brady Tkachuk would be a good ceiling comparison.

Fit with the Flames

Gauthier would be a good fit for any team in my opinion but I don’t think the Flames will target the forward at 16th overall.

With the depth in this class I think there’s other talent available on the board that would be better suited for the Flames at 16th.

His play style and work ethic make him a desirable player for anyone and would be ideal for a team in the #20–#32 range.


Gauthier will most likely project as a middle-six forward. If his offensive game improves he could be a steal for a team in the late first round.

His high motor, attitude and play style make him an ideal piece to any NHL team one day. He’s the type of player that really can’t miss. At worse he’ll turn out to be a third line checking player. But as is he could compete as a great two-way forward in the NHL in a few seasons.

Gauthier will likely play for Canada at the World Juniors next year and return to junior. He has time to continue developing his game and playing against increased competition. With his attitude it’s hard to believe he won’t continue to improve.

Risk: 1/5

Reward: 4/5

Projection: All-star two-way forward, penalty kill specialist

All TWC 2023 NHL Draft Profiles

Check out more of our individual player profiles of selected 2023 NHL Draft prospects:
Connor Bedard | Matvei Michkov | Adam Fantilli | Leo Carlsson | Zach Benson | Andrew Cristall | Oliver Moore | Will Smith | Ryan Leonard | Eduard Sale | Colby Barlow | Axel Sandin Pellikka | Dalibor Dvorsky | Brayden Yager | David Reinbacher | Nate Danielson | Riley Heidt | Matthew Wood | Quentin Musty | Mikhail Gulyayev | Calum Ritchie | Gabe Perrault | Jayden Perron | Ethan Gauthier | Dmitri Simashev | Samuel Honzek | Lukas Dragicevic | William Whitelaw | Otto Stenberg | Gavin Brindley | Daniil But

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