While there has been roster turnover across the NHL since the beginning of free agency, the NY Islanders have, for the most part, stood pat, willing to run it back once again with the heart of the roster intact. One of the only new names seeing ice time is Julien Gauthier.
Agreeing to a two-year contract worth $1.575M on July 5, Gauthier joins the Isles after spending last season with the NY Rangers and the Ottawa Senators. Acquired by Ottawa at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Tyler Motte to the Rangers, Gauthier is now committed to Long Island for the next two seasons.
Drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes 21st overall in 2016, Gauthier has yet to live up to his expectations as a first-round pick. Gauthier has played the majority of his career with the Rangers, appearing in 131 games over four seasons. During that time, production was significantly limited, scoring just 11 goals and adding 15 assists, playing mostly bottom six minutes.
Though his time in Ottawa was limited, Gauthier seemed to be finding his groove just as the season ended, scoring three times and adding two assists.
While he isn't expected to become a game breaker with the Islanders, Gauthier adds an element of speed that the Islanders ahve been missing. At 6'5" and 230 lbs, Gauthier can fly along the ice. Set to turn 26 a day after opening night, Gauthier still has time to turn his career around and become an everyday NHLer.