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Cutter Gauthier’s Historic Season Earns Him Multiple Annual Awards

By Bob Reinert, 06/12/24, 3:45PM MDT

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Gauthier led the NCAA in goals and helped Team USA win gold at World Juniors.

It would be tough to surpass the hockey season that Cutter Gauthier enjoyed in 2023-2024.

In recognition of that, USA Hockey named Gauthier its 2024 Jim Johannson College Player of the Year and bestowed its Bob Johnson Award to him for his excellent play in international competition. He received both awards June 7 at the USA Hockey President’s Awards Dinner in Denver.

In his sophomore campaign at Boston College, the 20-year-old forward from Scottsdale, Arizona, helped the Eagles to the NCAA national championship game, where they lost 2-0 to the University of Denver. His 38 goals led the country and were the most in a season since Minnesota’s Ryan Potulny scored that same number in 2005-06. Gauthier’s 65 points were second in the nation behind teammate Will Smith, who had 71.

His goal total tied David Emma (1989-90) and Scott Harlow (1985-86) for the most in a season in Boston College history. Gauthier finished his college career with 102 points on 54 goals and 48 assists in 73 games.

The icing on the cake for Gauthier came on April 18, when he made his NHL debut for the Anaheim Ducks. He assisted on the game-winning goal by Jackson LaCombe in a 2-1 win in Anaheim’s final game of the season.

Greg Brown, Boston College men’s hockey head coach, raved about Gauthier’s overall play this season. 

“On the ice, he was just a force this entire season,” Brown said. “This year, he helped us in every way possible. He not only scored 38 goals, but he was on the penalty kill, he took key faceoffs, he played against the other team’s top line many nights. So, he affected the game in every area and was a dominant player this season.”

Brown added that Gauthier elevated the ability of his teammates.

“Not only with his play, but with the intensity and the purpose that he had at practice every single day,” Brown said. “He was all business on the ice trying to get better and trying to help push his teammates to get better.

Despite only being a sophomore, Brown said Gauthier played a leadership role in the BC locker room and acted with professionalism at the rink every day. 

The strides Gauthier made in rounding out his game this year will benefit him at the next level.

“He is a goal scorer, and he will be a goal scorer in the NHL,” Brown said. “If it doesn’t happen immediately, he’s not going to hurt the team when he’s on the ice. He’ll be sound in his own end, he’ll be responsible, he’ll check well. Adding all those aspects to his game and rounding it out will allow him to learn on the job if it does take a little while before he becomes a goal scorer.”

Brown added that Gauthier is a fit player who possesses a professional frame. He then identified another asset for the young player.

“He’s got a lot of mental strength, which is key to making that transition to pro hockey,” Brown said. “He has a competitiveness and a belief that will serve him very well there. 

“If things aren’t going well or he’s having an off night, he doesn’t let it affect the next shift. He’ll be able to adapt and still be able to function at a high level because of his mental strength.”

Gauthier also stood out on the international stage this season.

An alternate captain for Team USA at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, Gauthier helped the U.S. win gold. He led his team and the tournament with 12 points and was named the top forward in the event. His 10 assists were also a tournament high.

Gauthier’s two goals included the game-winner against Finland in the semifinals.

The gold medal was the sixth the Americans have won at the World JuniorChampionship, and the first since 2021.

John Vanbiesbrouck, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, said that the late Bob Johnson would have approved of Gauthier.

“Bob would have really liked Cutter’s everyday game,” Vanbiesbrouck said. “In one word: passion. Cutter plays with passion.”

Vanbiesbrouck was especially impressed with Gauthier’s ability to score in a clutch situation at World Juniors. 

“His goal versus Finland in the semis in the power play will be a lasting memory,” he said. “Very few players can score on a shot like that, when it mattered the most. His game is made for the NHL. He will have long-term success.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc

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