Gabe Gauthier, a University of Denver product who signed with the LA Kings as a Free Agent in 2006 is now leading the American Hockey League in scoring (actually he is tied for the lead with the peerless Toby Petersen). A small, feisty centreman, Gauthier played alongside Paul Stastny when the two were together at Denver. Like Stastny, Gauthier put up very solid numbers in the NCAA.
Very adept in the face-off circle, Gauthier possesses a hard shot and a low centre of gravity. As such, he is able to play effectively in traffic and be a scoring threat from anywhere. A tough competitor, Gauthier will not back down in any area of the rink despite his small stature. He gives 100% every shift and is said to be very difficult to defend against.
In addition to his quick shot and offensive prowess, Gauthier can be used in defensive situations. He is a smooth skater with good quickness who can use his grit to shut down other team’s top lines. Weighing at 200 pounds, Gauthier stands only 5’9, making him a bowling ball type of player. He had good success in Manchester last year, but was ineffective in a 5 game stint with the Kings last year. Although he has started well in the AHL, Gauthier might not get the call to the Kings until Handzus has proven he won’t turn his season around.