Rangers re-sign F Julien Gauthier to one-year contract; is he a Seattle Kraken next week?

The New York Rangers re-signed restricted free agent forward Julien Gauthier to a one-year contract Friday. Will he be a member of the Seattle Kraken next week?

Rangers sign Julien Gauthier

Gauthier, 23, collected two goals and six assists in 30 games during the 2020-21 season.

A first-round pick (21st overall) by Carolina in 2016, the Quebec native has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and 22 penalty minutes in 47 games with the Hurricanes (2019-20) and Rangers.

New York acquired Gauthier in a Feb. 18, 2020, trade that sent defenseman Joey Keane to the Hurricanes.

Seattle Kraken may select Gauthier

The Seattle Kraken will start to build their hockey team on July 21st. That is the date set for the Expansion Draft. We know that Blueshirts will be exposing Tony DeAngelo for certain. It is unlikely the Kraken go that route, so we look at some other possibilities in the early going.

I believe it will come down to Brett Howden, who was also recently signed and Julien Gauthier. Each suffered an injury to end their season, so I don’t think that will factor in the selection. My initial thought was that Howden would be their choice. He’s a young and responsible defensive center, and pivots are always at a premium. Remember, the Golden Knights selected Oscar Lindberg back in 2017.

Gauthier was picked in the first round, 21st overall in 2016. Ron Francis who was Carolina’s GM at that time said, “He is big enough to have an immediate impact. We’ll see how things play out in development camp and training camp. Physically, he’s big enough, and he skates well enough.”

If Francis still feels this way about his former draft pick, he could be the player selected from the Blueshirts.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article