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'Career year coming up': Prince George Cougars' Taylor Gauthier goes unselected at 2020 NHL Draft

Goaltender was passed over a second time in two drafts

For a second consecutive year, Taylor Gauthier's name was not called at the NHL Draft.

The Prince George Cougars goaltender went undrafted in the 2020 event as rounds two through seven took place virtually at the 2020 NHL Draft today (Oct. 7).

The 19-year-old was ranked 19th among North American netminders by NHL Central Scouting going into the draft this week.

A total of 20 crease-monkeys were picked this year, including 13 from Europe and seven from North America.

In a text to Prince George Cougars' broadcaster Fraser Rodgers, and shared to social media, Gauthier said "Career year coming up."

Last season, which was shortened and later cancelled by COVID-19, he played the most minutes of any other netminder in the Western Hockey League (WHL) at 2,870 and tied at the top with Kelowna Rockets' Roman Basran by starting 50 games.

Gauthier also finished second in total shots faced (1,677) and total saves (1,537).

"Playing as much as I did in the last two seasons was taxing on my body," he said in a Cougars' release regarding the COVID-19 pause since March. 

"I certainly felt it towards the end of the season. I wanted to get stronger this summer and I really worked at it. I cut down my weight and then added on about 20 pounds of muscle. I don’t know what the schedule is going to look like this year, but I feel great and I’m ready for a whatever they throw at me."

Gauthier tallied a 2.93 goal-against average in his 2019-20 campaign along with a .917 save-percentage.

He's suited up in 137 games for the Prince George Cougars since coming onto the WHL scene in 2017.

Internationally, Gauthier is a Hlinka-Gretzky Cup champion, stopping all 16 shots he faced in the gold-medal match to hoist the trophy, and won three of four starts with Canada at the 2019 World Under-18 Hockey Championship before finishing fourth in the tournament.

This past summer, he was the oldest goaltender invited to Hockey Canada's virtual Under-20 summer training camp, which could be a confidence boost to potentially crack the 2021 World Juniors roster.