With the 5th overall selection, the Philadelphia Flyers were proud to select left winger Cutter Gauthier. The curveball draft of 2022 was in full effect tonight, as the Montreal Canadiens started off the festivities by drafting Juraj Slafkovsky with the first overall pick over the once-touted consensus pick in Shane Wright. Wright continued to drop as the New Jersey Devils made history by selecting another fellow Slovakian in Simon Nemec with the second overall pick. Many had the defensemen slotted in the 4-5 range but the Devils, with their plethora of forwards, decided to stack their defense with the Slovakian native.
Third overall belonged to the Arizona Coyotes and many tabbed this to be the pick where a curveball might be thrown, but in fact it was the only pick that remained status quo as they decided to draft the Pittsburgh native, Logan Cooley. Cooley was rumoured in recent days as being a possible drop-down pick with the defensemen jumping up into the top 4 or even a flier on Cutter Gauthier. Shane Wright didn’t have to wait all too long, but he dropped to the 4th selection and was taken by the Seattle Kraken, who have added to their selection from last year in Matthew Beniers.
Two trades were announced in unison before the 4th overall selection and they both involved the host city in Montreal. The Canadiens traded defenseman Alexander Romanov and pick #98 to the New York Islanders for their 13th overall selection. They then flipped that 13th overall pick and pick # 66 to the fire-selling Chicago Blackhawks for Kirby Dach. The Chicago Blackhawks entered the day without a first round pick after trading it to the Columbus Blue Jackets last year in a deal involving Seth Jones. However they traded Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators for the 7th overall pick, a second round pick in 2022, and at third round pick in 2024. They added to that by trading young Kirby Dach.
The Flyers were rumoured to be one of the teams that would take the flier on Gauthier after TSN’s Bob McKenzie had him tabbed 5th in his draft rankings. Many believed he was a mid-round pick but he jumped up in several eyes after he was willing to convert from wing to centre. He stands at 6’2” and 200 lbs, can play both wing and centre, and had a year where he scored 34 goals and 65 points in 54 games in the USDP. McKenzie tabbed him as more NHL-ready than any of the other prospects in and around the 5th selection and that is exactly what the Flyers want right now.
Welcome to Philadelphia, Cutter.