Friday, January 6, 2017

Gauthier deal ends eventful trade period

MONTREAL - Julien Gauthier is officially a Saint John Sea Dog.

The long awaited deal (a few days, anyways) was finally made official on Friday, the final day of the QMJHL's trading period. The trade went as expected, with Saint John acquiring Gauthier from the Val-d'Or Foreurs in exchange for a 2017 third-round pick (Val-d’Or), two 2018 second-round picks (Val-d’Or and Sherbrooke), a 2019 first-round pick and prospect Nathan Cyr-Trottier.

Note that this deal is slightly different than what the Foreurs posted on their Instagram account this morning.

The Carolina Hurricanes prospect is one of the premier goal scorers in junior hockey, recording 41 goals in 2015-16 and 38 in 2014-15. In 207 career QMJHL games, Gauthier has 94 goals and 186 points.

The 19-year-old hasn't had his greatest goal scoring season so far, recording seven goals and 20 assists in 23 games with Val-d'Or. He had a strong World Junior Hockey Championship with Team Canada though, recording five goals and two assists in seven games.

“He’s another weapon, a goal-scorer that brings us size and skill," said Sea Dogs president and general manager Trevor Georgie in a press release. "He has also won before at this level and has experience at the MasterCard Memorial Cup. That was important to us, as it was with Simon Bourque and Callum Booth. Julien has continued to add to his toolbox and is coming off a strong, silver-medal performance at the World Juniors where he led Team Canada with five goals. He is excited to be here and will be a key player on our team this season.”

Saint John already has a strong offence, recording a league high 153 goals to go along with a league best power play. The Sea Dogs have struggled to score at even strength at times this year, which Gauthier should help with.

The acquisition of Gauthier wraps up a very eventful trade period for the Sea Dogs. The team also acquired goaltender Callum Booth, defenceman Simon Bourque and traded defenceman Luke Green - all NHL drafted players - over the past few weeks.

Some other notable moves from around the league:
  • The Charlottetown Islanders acquired former Sea Dogs forward Adam Marsh in a huge trade with the Foreurs. The Isles also picked up Francois Beauchemin in exchange for Cody Donaghey, a first-round pick and fifth-round pick.
  • The Islanders have really loaded up, mainly because Daniel Sprong is returning to the team's lineup. Along with Marsh and Beauchemin, Charlottetown has picked up Carl Neill, Alex Dostie, Nicolas Meloche, Mark Grametbauer and others.
  • Charlottetown sits just one-point back of Saint John. This should be a fun race to follow down the stretch. The two teams have had a good rivalry in the past and it should pick up again.
  • Saint John and Charlottetown meet on Jan. 29 at Eastlink Centre.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Foreurs blew up their team. Donaghey was flipped to Sherbrooke. 
  • St. Stephen native Ross MacDougall was traded to Cape Breton from Quebec for a couple draft picks.
  • One of the surprising moves of the day saw the Remparts acquire goaltender Dereck Baribeau from Val-d'Or. Goaltender Alex Bishop, who the Sea Dogs traded to Quebec in the Booth deal, has reportedly been placed on waivers.
  • Of note, Bishop's MHL rights were recently acquired by the Summerside Western Capitals.

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