Prince George Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins announced this morning that the Cougars have signed 2001-born goaltender Taylor Gauthier (Calgary, AB) to a Western Hockey League Standard Player Agreement.
Originally selected by the Cougars ninth overall in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, Gauthier (6’0”, 172 pounds) is a 2015-16 Alberta Cup champion and the two-time reigning AMBHL Goaltender of the Year in the South Region. In 2015-16 he led the Calgary Bisons to a regular season record of 15-1-3 with a .948 save percentage, a 1.22 goals-against-average and seven shutouts! In nine playoff games he finished 6-3 with a .933 save percentage and a 1.64 goals-against-average. During his first bantam season in 2014-15 he put forth a record of 16-0-1 with a .950 save percentage, a 1.21 goals-against-average and five shutouts.
Gauthier (02/15/2001), who catches with his right hand, holds the distinction of being the first goaltender ever selected by the Prince George Cougars in the first round of a WHL Bantam Draft. In July Gauthier will be heading to Camrose, AB to attend Team Alberta’s U-16 Summer Provincial Camp with the hopes of eventually representing Alberta in the 2016 Western Canadian U-16 Challenge Cup, a tournament held annually in Calgary in October.
“Seeing Prince George walk to the podium on draft day and announcing my name was probably one of the best moments of my life up to this point,” said Gauthier on draft day which took place on May 5th, 2016 in Calgary. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about the City of Prince George and I’m excited to be a part of the organization. Hopefully I can play there for many years and bring success to the town and the organization.”
“Very early on we identified Taylor Gauthier as the best goaltender available in the draft, and when he was still available to us in the ninth spot, we knew that he was the type of player and person that we could not afford to pass up on,” adds Cougars General Manager, Todd Harkins. “Our fans are going to love the way he battles. He’s big, mobile, and a relentless competitor. He’s made it very clear that his goal is to make it to the NHL and we will do everything within our power to help him get there.”
Harkins adds, “We couldn’t be happier to have Taylor signed. He’s an integral part of our future success and we can’t wait to watch him develop into a franchise goaltender with the Prince George Cougars.”
Gauthier will attend his first WHL training camp in Prince George in August. As an under-ager he’ll be allowed to play in a maximum of five games during the 2016-17 season until his midget team is finished their season.