NY Islanders Plus/Minus for 2023-24: Julien Gauthier presented with a major opportunity

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Depending on how his preseason and training camp look, there's a possibility Gauthier can find himself in the lineup come opening night. As Zach Parise still mulls retirement, there could be an open slot along the wing of the third line.

Despite who he may be competing against for ice time, Gauthier will have the advantage in the skating department. His lack of production in his career, especially last season, hasn't been for lack of opportunities, created largely because of his skating.

Last season against the Dallas Stars, Gauthier split two defensemen on an alley-oop style pass before waiting out the onrushing goalie before burying the puck from a difficult angle.

In another instance against the Isles, Gauthier turned on the after-burners to beat Robin Salo down the wing before putting on a silky move to beat Ilya Sorokin.

If he can make good on his opportunities, Gauthier can become a compelling force on the Isles' third line. He should have every opportunity to excel with the Islanders, but the work rate and effort need to be there every night.