The Toronto Maple Leafs first-round pick from last season is about to get his first taste of professional hockey.
Frederik Gauthier, who the Leafs selected with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, has signed a try-out contract with the Toronto Marlies and will join the team as they begin the AHL Playoffs on Friday.
In 54 regular season games with the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL, Gauthier recorded 18 goals and 52 points. He followed that up with three goals and nine points in 11 playoff games before Rimouski was eliminated.
As a late addition to the team, don’t expect Gauthier to get a ton of ice time. The Marlies were one of the best teams in the AHL season and they won’t want to upset the chemistry. However, Gauthier could be a big part of the Leafs future so they will probably want him to get as much experience as possible.
Gauthier will be in the same position as Morgan Rielly was at the beginning of this season. Because of his age, Gauthier can only play for the Toronto Maple Leafs or be returned to Rimouski. He can’t be a full-time player for the Marlies next season, so this will only be a short audition.
Gauthier probably won’t develop to become an offensive mastermind, but the next couple weeks or so could give us more of an inkling of what he’ll become.