Gauthier signs rookie contract with Ducks

Anaheim's top prospect, who led the NCAA with 38 goals, signs three-year, entry level deal.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Boston College forward Cutter Gauthier scored 38 goals this season, the most in NCAA play since the 1999-2000.

Now he’s an Anaheim Duck.

Two days after bidding a home farewell to longtime forward Jakob Silfverberg, the Ducks on Sunday signed Gauthier, their top prospect, to a three-year, entry level contract.

According to ESPN, Gauthier is likely to make his NHL debut Thursday when the Ducks finish their season in Las Vegas.

A highly coveted prospect whom the Ducks acquired on Jan. 8 in exchange for Jamie Drysdale, Gauthier is likely to slide right into Anaheim’s promising young core of forwards, alongside Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish, and Leo Carlsson.

The timing of Gauthier’s signing reveals how motivated both the player and the Ducks front office were to bring him to Anaheim. Boston College fell 2-0 in Saturday’s NCAA national championship game against Denver University, and less than 24 hours later, the Ducks heralded his arrival with a tweet showing a photograph of Gauthier signing his contract and a single word above it: “Cutter.”

For a team that ranked 30th in the NHL in goals this season, adding a record-setting scorer to the offense offers immense potential. Gauthier also led the NCAA with 10 game-winning goals, showing he has a knack for late-game heroics.

Gauthier was a finalist this season for the Hobey Baker Award, presented annually to the best college hockey player in the United States. He was the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, chosen five picks ahead of Anaheim’s Pavel Mintyukov.

Although he was born in Sweden, Gauthier calls himself a native of Scottsdale, Arizona.