The Philadelphia Flyers traded Cutter Gauthier, the fifth-overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Jamie Drysdale and a 2025 second-round pick.
The trade took some people by surprise as Gauthier recently became the joint-top points scorer in the 2023 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, but the reason behind the trade is that the player did not want to sign with the Flyers.
Gauthier ignored or refused the Flyers' attempts to contact him, reports said shortly after the trade. He is also said to have skipped the team's summer development program in July 2023.
As recently as December 13, 2023, Gauthier said in an Instagram video posted by Elite Prospects that his favorite team growing up was the Pittsburgh Penguins and that "I was recently drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers and I don't think that's gonna roll over well."
Gauthier is currently a sophomore at Boston College and in 17 games this season, he has 13 goals and 10 assists for 23 points. He leads his team in goals and is tied for second in points.
The Ducks will pair the 19-year-old Gauthier with their three high-potential young forwards in Mason McTavish, Leo Carlsson, and Trevor Zegras.
As for the Flyers, they get a 21-year-old defenseman in Drysdale, the sixth-overall pick in 2020.
After a promising 2021/22 campaign in which he played 81 games and scored 32 points at age 19, Drysdale has played just 18 NHL games since due to injuries.
Drysdale has been in the Ducks' lineup consistently since December 21, 2023 and has racked up at least 20 minutes of ice time in six of seven games played in that span. That bodes well for the Flyers, who are third in the jam-packed Metropolitan Division and will be glad to get an instant contributor in return for a top prospect.