It took until the second round to see the first QMJHL player selected in the 2023 National Hockey League (NHL) Draft, and it was the Tampa Bay Lightning who set their sights on Ethan Gauthier.
Interestingly, with the 37th speaking turn, which until recently belonged to the Montreal Canadiens, the “Bolts” chose this option. The Habs first traded him to the Colorado Avalanche for forward Alex Newhook. He then used it to acquire Ross Colton from the Lightning.
After his selection the young Gauthier admitted, “It is hard to describe it as a moment.”
“I slipped a bit yesterday, I was confident of getting out in the first round. I believe I am better than the first round pick, but I am a character player and could not have asked for better. At the start of the second round I didn’t see Tampa Bay take off much and I will say I was expecting a fall here.
Gauthier, a right winger who played the past two seasons with the Sherbrooke Phoenix, now belongs to the Drummondville Voltigeurs. He finished last season with 69 points, including 30 goals, in 66 games.
The son of former hockey player Denis Gauthier added 11 points in the same number of playoff games.
Interview with Ethan Gauthier –
Etienne Morin in Alberta
Later, guard Etienne Morin became the property of the Calgary Flames, who drafted him 48th overall. Skeeter scored 21 goals and 51 assists for 72 points in 67 games with the Moncton Wildcats in the QMJHL during the previous campaign, while posting a differential of +29. He also had 17 points in 12 playoff games.
“It is the reward of all the efforts (made). I have been working for this for years. Sometimes we got up at 6 in the morning or went to bed late, he told TVA Sports, adding that he was ready at age 18 to reverse circumstances and make a mark in Calgary. I am happy because I am living in Canada and the environment there is very good.”
Morin is definitely expected to participate in the Flames’ next development camp.
Renaud Lavoie with Etienne Morin –
Other Quebecers Called
The third Quebecer to hear his name from the QMJHL was Saint-Constant center Mathieu Cataford, who became a member of the Vegas Golden Knights at the 77th level.
The 5-foot-11 athlete helped the Halifax Mooseheads reach the Junior Circuit Finals last season, the second in his career, scoring 75 points and 31 goals in 68 games. During the playoffs, he had 13 points in 21 contests.
For their part, the Carolina Hurricanes took Quebec’s Charles-Alexis Legault at the 139th pick in the auction. The defenseman helped the Quinnipiac University Bobcats win the NCAA National Championship this year. Lavellois collected nine points, including two goals, in 40 games. He is a former member of the Lac-Saint-Louis Lions in Midget AAA.
In the 145th round, forward Justin Gill found a buyer when his name was mentioned by the New York Islanders. He offered good offensive production to the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the QMJHL in 2022–2023, scoring 44 goals and 49 assists for 93 points in 68 games. Then, goaltender Rudy Guimond (169th) was selected by the Detroit Red Wings. He developed with Taft, a “pre school” in the United States during the previous season.
Matthew Cattaford Interview –
Justin Gill opens up after being picked by the Islanders