The New York Rangers have signed RFA forward Julien Gauthier to a one-year extension.
The #NYR signed 23 y/o RFA F Julien Gauthier to 1 year deal:— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 16, 2021
2G 8P in 30 GP
39% 5v5 GF, 53% DFF, 44% Corsi
Scored 1.72 5v5 P/60
Rep'd by Pat Brisson @CAAHockey https://t.co/EjwHGmdwBl
Gauthier appeared in 30 games with the Rangers this season, and tallied 2 goals and 6 assists for 8 points. The Rangers originally acquired Gauthier during the 2019-20 season from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Joey Keane, and at the time the 6’4”, 227-pound winger had a line of 26-11-37 in 44 games with the Charlotte Checkers.
For whatever reason, Gauthier was not given an extended look under David Quinn, averaging 8:39 a game in 2019-20, and 9:39 a game in 2020-21, and the one-year extension could indicate he will be exposed in the Seattle Expansion Draft, or the Rangers will trade him to a team who has an extra protection spot for a forward, in exchange for a defender.
As it stands the Rangers have an open protection spot for a defender, so it would make sense to take advantage of that instead of losing someone as promising as Gauthier for nothing. It is also possible that Gauthier is protected, and Brett Howden is traded instead.
MTL (and Kulak) isn’t the only possibility but it sticks out given both teams opposite needs.— HockeyStatMiner (@HockeyStatMiner) July 16, 2021
for instance something like Dunn/STL or Simek/SJ could happen, too. https://t.co/4KiSOLmFWs
We will know more within the next day or so, as the clock is ticking for teams to submit their final protection list for the Expansion Draft set to take place on July 21.