Name: Julien Gauthier
2015/16 Team: Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL)
Stats: 54GP, 41 goals, 16 assists, 57 points, 24 PIMs, +24
Future Considerations Ranking: 21st
NHL Player Comparison: Rick Nash
Julien Gauthier is a big and powerful forward who uses his size to brutalise opponents. He has a simple but effective game that uses the most out of his 6'4", 225lbs frame.
The problem with many players of Gauthier's size is that their skating isn't particularly good. With Gauthier he is a better than average skater and can get up to speed quickly. His weakness skating wise is his lateral movement. He can move up and down the ice well but can't move side to side with as much mobility.
He uses his size to go through players and causes havoc by sitting in the crease on the powerplay. Most defenders in the QMJHL find him very difficult to handle when he is parked in front of the goalie. He can jump on the loose puck with his long stick and get the shot off.
Apart from using his physicality to score and get shot away he's also got some skilled hands. Apart from going through players he can deke around them.
This style of play, along with his size, will suit the NHL very well. Whether that will be as a top six power forward type player or as grinder is still unknown for now.
Despite the size and the raw talent Gauthier has problems with putting in a consistent effort. He can dominate one game with his size and then seem to lose the will to use his body effectively.
Defensively the effort he puts in isn't there, especially when compared to his offensive game. He doesn't have the same urgency to move the puck out of his zone and get make mistakes, especially when handling the puck at his feet.
The talent is there for Gauthier to become a power forward, some even compared him to some of the great, physical wingers like Rick Nash and Jamie Benn. His weaknesses can be worked on and improved to make him into a well rounded player.
Do the Dallas Stars want another big bodied forward? We'll find out.