Advertisement

Flyers forced to trade top prospect Cutter Gauthier to Ducks

Flyers forced to trade top prospect Cutter Gauthier to Ducks originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

In an absolute stunner Monday night, the Flyers traded top prospect Cutter Gauthier to the Ducks.

They sent the 2022 fifth overall draft pick to Anaheim in exchange for Jamie Drysdale and a second-round selection in the 2025 draft.

Danny Briere addressed the media at first intermission of tonight’s Flyers-Penguins game.

The Flyers' general manager said Gauthier was not going to sign with the Flyers. They were made aware of his decision after he played for the U.S. in the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship heading into last summer. They apparently never got an answer for why Gauthier had changed his mind on Philadelphia.

"It was a long time coming," Briere said. "It has been going on for a while. We tried to give him space, we tried to get in touch with him many times. They would not communicate. ... At some point, we have to make a decision. We thought with what happened just a few days ago, this was our time to probably get the highest value."

Briere and president of hockey operations Keith Jones were at the 2024 world juniors tournament in Sweden last week to meet with Gauthier.

Gauthier led Team USA to a gold medal. He has been a standout at Boston College in his sophomore season.

In the summer, after playing at the worlds, Gauthier didn't attend Flyers development camp, which raised some eyebrows.

"The reason why we didn't want to say anything was not to hide anything from our great fans," Briere said. "It was to try to protect the kid. We were hoping that at some point he would change his mind. He had already changed his mind, he looked at us at the draft and told us he was built to be a Flyer, wanted to be a Flyer and then maybe a few months later, he told us that he didn't want to be a Flyer, he didn't want to play for the Flyers.

"In our mind, at first, we said we have to protect him. Because if he changes his mind again, and it's out there that he doesn't want to play, it would be tough for him to put the uniform on. But when we realized that they refused to talk to us, now it has been months, and he didn't want to be a Flyer, didn't want to be in Philadelphia, it was time to make it happen."

More: Tortorella, Flyers react to Gauthier passing on Philly, addition of Drysdale

Losing Gauthier is an awfully tough pill to swallow for the Flyers. The forward was expected to be a pillar to their rebuild, along with Russian prospect Matvei Michkov.

Briere was excited about Drysdale, a player who could help fuel the Flyers' emphasis of building from the back end to the front. He's a 21-year-old, righty-shot defenseman who was drafted sixth overall in 2020.

He has 123 career NHL games under his belt. He played 81 in 2021-22 for Anaheim, recording 32 points (four goals, 28 assists).

Drysdale missed the majority of last season because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts: 
Apple Podcasts | Youtube Music | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | RSSWatch on YouTube