Prospect of the Week (3.6.12)
This season Bolt Prospects introduced our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their on-ice contributions. There are no trophies or plaques, but we feel itâ€™s second only to receiving a professional contract.
We wanted to highlight prospects throughout the year to help fans get better acquainted with the next round of Lightning stars while recognizing the prospectâ€™s achievement on the ice.
This weekâ€™s BP Prospect of the Week award goes to â€¦ Danick Gauthier, C, Saint John (QMJHL)
What a week for Gauthier. First, the undrafted center gets a professional contract from the Tampa Bay Lightning, then he gets the BP Prospect of the Week award.
Gauthier, who is among QMJHL leaders in goals (2nd), points (9th), insurance goals (2nd), plus/minus (6th), and shots (8th), celebrated his new contract by netting six points in two games last weekend. He had one assist in a game last week prior to his contract announcement on Friday.
The 6â€™2â€ 201-pound center had three assists Friday night in a blowout win over PEI, then scored a goal and had two more helpers in Saturdayâ€™s win over Acadie-Bathurst. He was also plus-6 over those two games. Gauthier is enjoying a four-game point streak in which he has nine points and is plus-11.
Gauthier and his Saint John Sea Dogs are expected to far this playoff season, and likely will be playing in the Memorial Cup tournament (again) in Shawinigan in May. Speculation is he will start his professional career next year in the AHL.
For the year, Gauthier has 42 goals and 78 points in 61 games. He is plus-41 with 61 penalty minutes. He projects as a gritty second or third liner who is capable of sticking up for teammates and knocking in a few goals.
Previous BP Prospects of the Week:
Matt Peca, Quinnipiac (NCAA) - February 29, 2012
Pat Nagle, Florida (ECHL) - February 21, 2012
Alex Hutchings, Florida (ECHL) - February 14, 2012
Alex Killorn, Harvard (NCAA) - February 6, 2012
Adam Wilcox, Tri-City (USHL) and Alex Killorn, Harvard (NCAA) - January 30, 2012
Nikita Kucherov, CSKA Jr. (Russia) - January 24, 2012
Riku Helenius, JYP (Finland) - January 16, 2012
Brett Connolly, Canada (U20 WJC) - January 10, 2012
*Due to the Christmas break when few games below the NHL level were played, no POTW award was given.
Mark Barberio, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - December 19, 2011
Vladislav Namestnikov, London Knights (OHL) - December 12, 2011
Tyler Johnson, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - December 5, 2011
Alex Killorn, Harvard (NCAA) - November 28, 2011
Nikita Kucherov, Team Russia/CSKA Jr. (MHL) - November 21, 2011
Vladislav Namestnikov, London Knights (OHL) - November 14, 2011
Dustin Tokarski, Norfolk Admirals (AHL) - November 6, 2011
Riku Helenius, JYP (Finland) - October 30, 2011
Matthew Peca, Quinnipiac Bobcats - October 23, 2011
Radko Gudas, Norfolk Admirals - October 16, 2011
Carter Ashton, Norfolk Admirals - October 9, 2011
Brett Connolly, Tampa Bay Lightning - October 2, 2011
Mattias Ritola, Tampa Bay Lightning - September 25, 2011