QMJHL: Nathan Gaucher is getting more and more excited as the draft gets closer

Excitement is building daily for Nathan Gaucher, the top-ranked QMJHL prospect going into the NHL draft on July 7 in Montreal.

As part of the Week of Hopes in the antechamber, Andrée-Anne Barbeau received the Quebec Remparts forward.

“I’m trying not to count the days so that it goes by faster, but I can’t wait, that’s for sure,” confided the 16e North American prospect on the NHL prospect list.

Apparently, Gaucher dreams of being the first Quebecer to be drafted into the Bell Center before his family and friends.

“Yes, it would be a great pride. It would be a very nice honor, but I wish everyone to be drafted,” Gaucher said.

Due to the Remparts’ long run in the QMJHL playoffs, Gaucher didn’t make it to the Prospects’ Evaluation Camp (NHL Combine), but he doesn’t see that as a disadvantage.

The forward has held several discussions with NHL organizations over the past few weeks. Gaucher said he held talks with the Montreal Canadiens in January but hasn’t spoken to the Montreal organization since. That doesn’t stop him dreaming of being drafted by the Montreal team.

“It would be really incredible, especially since it’s taking place in Montreal. With everyone who is there. The Bell Center will be full. It would be a beautiful moment, but I have no expectations. »

In a pivotal year for his development and the rest of his career, Gaucher took the time to capitalize on his every experience, whether it was with the Remparts, the Under-23 game earlier in the winter, the teams he faced in the NHL, or whenever he could learn from his trainer Patrick Roy.

“It was a very pleasant year. We meet several NHL organizations, we discover their culture. It’s a nice taste of the NHL. … Later I’ll remember it and say, ‘My God, that was fun,'” said the man, who has 57 points, including 31 goals, in 66 games in the QMJHL this season.

Gaucher is an impressive player and compares well to some of the excellent players on the Bettman circuit.

“I like to compare myself to an Anze Kopitar or a player like Chris Kreider,” reveals the 18-year-old. They are players who have a good sense of hockey. Kopitar is good at the face-off, in both directions of the rink. Kreider, he has the ability to finish games and skate at high speed. »

The Longueuil native is also aware that he can improve certain aspects of his game to quickly make the leap to the pros.

“I’m still at 110%. I have to relax a bit, be patient with the puck, play the extra game in the offensive zone. I talked a lot about that with Patrick Roy. It opened my eyes. It is certain that I will improve at this level.

Speaking of Roy, Gaucher doesn’t know if his head coach will be back behind the bench for the Remparts next season, but one thing is for sure, the forward has learned valuable lessons from the former Canadians legend over the past three seasons.

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