The Philadelphia Flyers faced a crucial draft after a horrendous season in 2021-22. They showed that they are far from being able to be considered a contender, which, while deeply disappointing, does make the draft a tad more interesting.
With names like Logan Cooley and David Jiricek being connected to Philadelphia, the Flyers found themselves with a difficult decision to make with the fifth overall pick. For a moment, it looked as though projected top selection Shane Wright might just fall to Philadelphia, but the Seattle Kraken stepped in the way one pick ahead of the Flyers.
The fantasy was over; neither Wright nor Cooley (selected third by Arizona) fell to the Flyers, owners of the fifth pick in the 2022 draft. With the top centers off the board, their decision came down to selecting a defenseman or a young forward, and Philadelphia chose an absolute sniper of a forward.
With the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NHL draft, the Philadelphia Flyers selected LW/C Cutter Gauthier, who is committed to Boston College.
Gauthier was not only the best forward on the board, but he also fills a major need for a Flyers team who is light on the Left Wing. A power forward, Gauthier still manages to be light on his feet on the ice. His solid speed and hard skating help him fight when fighting for the puck and gain an advantage over his defender. While his speed could be described as “acceptable,” there is potential to improve it further before making his debut for the Flyers.
As a scorer, Cutter Gauthier doesn’t possess the strongest slapshot, but his wrister and snapshot are certainly assets for the young Flyer. He possesses soft, quick hands that enable him to sneak pucks past defenders and goalies alike.
Cutter Gauthier will need some time to develop, but the Philadelphia Flyers seemingly hit the nail on the head with this draft selection. In time, Gauthier has the chance to develop into a second-line player, perhaps even a fringe-first liner. One player will not complete Philadelphia’s rebuild, but forward Cutter Gauthier is a great start.