The New York Rangers have made a small dent in their long list of offseason decisions. CapFriendly reports that the team signed winger Julien Gauthier to a one-year, one-way contract extension worth $800,000, noting that Gauthier will still be a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights.
Gauthier hasn’t panned out since the Carolina Hurricanes drafted him 21st overall in 2016, dealing him to the Rangers in exchange for defenseman Joey Keane four years later. In three seasons and 91 games with the Rangers now, Gauthier has just five goals, 12 assists, and 17 points. He’ll turn 25 just after the start of next season, meaning that time is running out for Gauthier to become a consistent producer at the NHL level. He has shot just 4.3 percent over his NHL career, though, suggesting his impact has been a bit more positive than his unlucky low goal totals would suggest.
He’s shown the sparse ability to hold it together in a bottom-six role, although he seemed to take a step back this season with a little more ice time. As the Rangers look to capitalize on their ascent to the top of the Eastern Conference food chain, they’re likely getting Gauthier signed so that they can attempt to trade him this offseason. The Athletic’s Arthur Staple did report this morning that both he and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev had requested a trade out of New York.