Julien Gauthier’s Rangers future could change with new coach

The change behind the Rangers bench to a coach to be named later will affect primarily each participant on the roster by way of utilization, position, ice time and accountability inside a new system.

But the swap to someone not named David Quinn could affect roster selections, as effectively, maybe beginning with the safety checklist for the Seattle enlargement draft that’s due into the NHL on July 18, three days earlier than the Kraken inventory the franchise.

Because possibly, simply possibly, Julien Gauthier received’t be up for grabs as he most actually would have been if the coach who scratched the winger 24 instances over the course of the 56-game schedule — and 14 straight from April 6 by way of April 29 — had remained in place.

Unless the Rangers make participant personnel strikes earlier than the NHL invokes its momentary roster freeze on July 17, the alternatives seem clear reduce beneath the one-goaltender, three-defensemen, seven-forward safety components.

All the alternatives, that’s, aside from the id of the seventh ahead.

In aim, Igor Shesterkin is exempt, so the Rangers would defend Alex Georgiev whereas exposing Keith Kinkaid.

On protection, Adam Fox, Ok’Andre Miller and Zac Jones are exempt, so the Rangers will defend Jacob Trouba (who has a no-move clause and should be protected) Ryan Lindgren and Libor Hajek whereas exposing Tony DeAngelo and Anthony Bitetto. (Brendan Smith, who could have enchantment to the Kraken, is a pending unrestricted free agent.)

Up entrance, Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider have no-move clauses and can due to this fact be protected. So will Pavel Buchnevich, Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil to make six, whereas Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov and Morgan Barron are exempt.

So, one safety slot left amongst Brett Howden, Colin Blackwell, Kevin Rooney and Gauthier, with the others primed for choice.

Until Quinn was dismissed final Wednesday, the selection would have been between the 23-year-old Howden, who has settled in as a fourth-line winger, and Blackwell, the 28-year-old Cinderella Hockey Man who scored 12 objectives in his first 31 video games whereas changing into a top-six staple. (Blackwell didn’t rating over his closing 16 matches.)

Chances are that the membership would have protected Howden, who typically labored with Rooney because the second or third penalty-killing tandem.

But Gauthier, who will flip 24 in October, could re-enter the dialog with completely different units of eyes evaluating him.

Rangers Julien Gauthier NHL expansion draft Seattle
The Rangers should determine whether or not to guard Julien Gauthier from Seattle’s NHL enlargement draft.
NHLI by way of Getty Images

Carolina’s Twenty first-overall choice within the 2016 entry draft, and obtained by the Blueshirts on Feb. 18, 2020 for proper defenseman Joey Keane, the 6-4, 230-pound Gauthier intermittently displayed traits of an efficient energy ahead in between bouts of undisciplined play away from the puck — when he was not in road garments, that’s.

The March 15, 5-4 time beyond regulation defeat to the Flyers on the Garden represented a microcosm of Gauthier’s season, with No. 12 driving to the online from proper wing and scoring on a backhander up prime to offer the Rangers a 3-2 lead in a match during which he picked up 8:00 in penalties, together with a double-minor for drawing blood on a excessive stick.

Predictably, Gauthier was a wholesome scratch for the subsequent three video games and solely returned to the lineup for a spell when Howden went on the COVID-19 checklist.

Gauthier, who recorded eight factors (2-6) in 30 video games, did appear to have a penchant for committing unhealthy penalties. Yet he was a plus-two on the ledger, drawing 9 minors whereas committing seven throughout the season.

It’s fascinating that Kravtsov, whose early April arrival typically kicked Gauthier to the curb, was lauded as defensively conscious whereas Gauthier was perceived as defensively unreliable. The numbers don’t essentially assist that conclusion.

In 277:15 at five-on-five, Gauthier had a 44.83 Corsi ranking, was on the ice for a 46.85 shot share with a 49.86 xGF and a 38.46 goals-for proportion (10/16) whereas on the ice. He was on for 29.09 shots-against per 60:00.

Meanwhile, in 239:01. Kravtsov had a 43.62 Corsi and a 42.27 shot share with a 38.55 xGF and a 35.29 goals-for proportion (6/11). He was on for 29.01 shots-against per 60:00. (Stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick and Evolving-Hockey.)

Kravtsov and Gauthier each play the best facet, so in that sense they’re competing for a spot on the roster, within the lineup and for ice time. But they aren’t competing for a spot on the protected checklist. The competitors would appear to be between Howden and Gauthier.

Howden is extra of a identified amount. But he appears to have hit his ceiling as a fourth-liner. Gauthier’s potential remains to be unrealized however he positive does appear to have a better upside than Howden. And although the Blueshirts seem like overstocked with top-nine-type wingers, a number of could be sacrificed as consequence of offseason transforming.  

And with Quinn now not showing within the group image, the Rangers could determine to offer Gauthier yet another look.

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