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New York Rangers Sign Julien Gauthier to One-Year Extension

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers have signed RFA forward Julien Gauthier to a one-year extension.

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.

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.