Many draft experts will often express something like “with all else equal, take the center” when discussing forwards. The position is much more coveted than wing, especially near the top of draft boards. Perhaps that’s why Cutter Gauthier is flying up rankings as this year’s draft approaches, finishing third among North American skaters in the final list from NHL Central scouting.
Gauthier, 18, will transition to center full-time next season for Boston College, and teams that have interviewed him this week at the combine see him in the middle, according to Corey Pronman of The Athletic. The 6’3″ forward is already an interesting mix of size and skill, meaning that news of his move to center makes him all the more intriguing as an option near the very top.
- Malcolm Spence, a 15-year-old winger from the GTHL, has officially committed to the Erie Otters after the team selected him second overall in this year’s OHL draft. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise but means there will be plenty of eyes on the Otters over the next several years, as Spence tries to establish himself as one of the very top options for the 2025 draft. Mike Battah, co-director of scouting for the Otters, called Spence the most dynamic player in this year’s draft, despite going after first-overall pick and exceptional status player Michael Misa.
- Technically, to carry a draft pick’s rights from year to year, a team has to extend a bona fide offer to them. Most teams don’t announce these offers publicly, but not so for the Washington Capitals, who tweeted today that Chase Clark, Joaquim Lemay, and Dru Krebs have all received one. This simply keeps them on the Capitals’ reserve list for another year, and certainly was an expected decision.
“With all else equal, take the center” is how you end up with a dud like Kotkaniemi and not a beast like Tkachuk. Best player available – period.