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Taylor Gauthier back in draft conversation as lone Prince George Cougar in NHL Scouting midterms

He’s ranked 27th among North American goaltenders

In the summer of 2019, Taylor Gauthier was snubbed at the NHL Draft in Vancouver.

He was the seventh-ranked North American goaltender going into that June weekend and was eventually passed over.

Today (Jan. 13), he’s back in contention for all 31 clubs as the only Prince George Cougar listed in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings ahead of the 2020 Draft in Montreal, this time listed as 27th among North American goaltenders.

Prior to today’s unveiling, Gauthier posted 29 saves on 30 shots in the Cougars’ 4-1 win in Saskatoon on Saturday (Jan. 11), the team’s first victory in the East Division since February 2018, and has recorded six 40-plus-save nights on the season thus far.

Through 32 games this year, the 18-year-old has the fourth-most playing time among Western Hockey League (WHL) netminders clocking in at 1,830 minutes, the fourth-most saves at 952 and has faced the fifth-most shots at 1,041.

At the NHL Scouting Combine last summer, Gauthier posted the highest squat jump among all participants, including nine other goaltenders, at 23.19 metres.

He also received an invitation to the Boston Bruins’ development camp three days after the Vancouver draft and even suited up in the black and yellow for the 2019 NHL Prospects Challenge in the pre-season.

The ranking does not guarantee the Calgary product will hear his name called in Montreal this summer.

Gauthier was also left off of the NHL ‘Players to Watch’ list at the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign.

Rhett Rhinehart was on that preliminary list representing Prince George before getting traded to Saskatoon.  

Gauthier will try to up his stock once again this week as the Cougars continue their East Division road swing in Winnipeg tomorrow (Jan. 14) and in Brandon on Wednesday (Jan. 15).