Strolling through the streets of downtown Montreal, striker Nathan Gaucher couldn’t help but think about becoming a member of the Canadiens in the next few hours.
The last time the Montreal Canadiens drafted a Quebecer in the first round was in 2009, when the organization made Louis Leblanc the 18th draft pick presented … in Montreal.
Many remember the reaction of fans at the Bell Center who were quick to sing “Louis! Louis! Louis! ”, While the attacker went to the stage to receive the blue, white and red jersey and cap.
Experiencing a moment like this would be a dream for Quebec striker Remparts.
“I come back here to Montreal, I look at the city and I find it incredible. On draft day there will be 60 people with me, there will be fans cheering on a guy from Quebec. I know fans would be thrilled to see a Quebecer with the Canadiens. That would be great, but there are also 31 other teams.
In 26th place?
If the Habs choose the left hand in the first round, it will be with choice no. 26 have acquired from the Calgary Flames, except that an exchange to come forward as the rumor says.
If the squad doesn’t move, several scouts and observers believe Gaucher will be available at 26th level while others believe he’ll come out sooner than where public consensus seems to place him.
Photo credit: Joël Lemay / QMI Agency
The 6-foot-3, 207-pound center is trying not to raise his hopes.
“It is difficult for me to predict where I will go out. It’s funny because I know there are several teams who love me and there might be a surprise. However, there is a large gap between the ranks that I will be drafted into. When I hear my name, I’ll just be happy. ”
Although it was in Montreal that he began his professional career, however, the pressure of the market did not scare him at all.
“I think I can handle the pressure and would like to take on this challenge with my eyes closed. I play hockey and I love to play hockey. I don’t want to put more pressure on myself. ”
Third line center?
The analysis seems almost unanimous by reading and listening to what is said about Nathan Gaucher: he will be a third-line center in the NHL.
“If I were a third-line center in the NHL, that would be great. That said, I like to challenge the odds and I like that a manager can count on me in all situations. I don’t see it as a bad thing to be a third-row center in the National Hockey League. ”
After missing the NHL Combine in Buffalo as the Remparts were still in the QMJHL playoffs, Gaucher has had to catch up in recent weeks by meeting the teams via videoconference. He had his first face-to-face meetings with some of the staff on Tuesday.
Hockey set aside for left-handers
Nathan Gaucher grew up in hockey. His father, Yannick, played in the QMJHL and is currently deputy general manager and scout of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies while his brother, Jacob, has just completed his five-year internship in the Courteau circuit. However, family conversations have not been very focused on hockey this season.
Quebec striker Remparts has talked about it multiple times this season – he has at times had a hard time focusing 100% on his season due to the many distractions associated with his year of conscription. Like many other hockey players, he called in a sports psychologist during the season.
“This year we have not really talked about his game, said his father, who crossed paths at the Science Center where the main hopes met the media on the eve of the first round yesterday. We stayed positive with him. There was a stage where the points weren’t coming and he consulted a sports psychologist and that helped him. The next game, he scored three goals against Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Subsequently, he had a very good streak. He understood several things. When the head is fine, the rest follows.
Because, the father confirms it: whatever prospects repeat to those who want to listen to it throughout their year of military service, they constantly think about it.
“You can say you don’t think about it, but every day you have someone who reminds you. You have interviews, questionnaires to fill out. Plus, everyone is proud of it and talks to you all the time.”
Underestimated offensive potential
In addition to the role of father, Yannick Gaucher also observes his son with the eye of his recruiter. In his eyes, his offensive potential is not recognized at his proper value.
“He has still scored 31 goals this season. We assume that because he is a good player at 200 feet, he drops the offensive side. It was the same at the AAA nano level and still managed to produce. He is not a guy who will make 100 points in the NHL but he will be able to produce, ”predicts his father.
Gaucher added 26 assists to his 31 goals last season for a total of 57 points in 66 games. He added nine in 12 playoff games.
On Thursday evening, around sixty family members and relatives of the Gaucher family will also be present at the Bell Center.
“We had a lot of requests, laughs Yannick Gaucher. We had to decide and make choices. I think there will be the most important people and those who have followed Nathan throughout his career.