Prospects And Other Possibilities: Gauthier, Schultz, And Hirano

With 9 picks in the 2023 draft, prospects  abound for Carolina to pick up, or trade off for the future. Ethan Gauthier, Brady Schultz, and Yushiroh Hirano could meet some of the Canes needs. Ethan Gauthier is the top consideration for Carolina. Brady Schultz would bring some defensive size, and Yushiroh Hirano is just fun to mention.

Jan 25, 2023; Langley, BC, CANADA; CHL Top Prospects team white forward Ethan Gauthier (79) warms up in the CHL Top Prospects ice hockey game at Langley Events Centre. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ethan Gauthier’s 2022-23 campaign was a point a night affair in 66 regular season games, and 11 in the postseason. The 18 year old right handed, right winger completed the season with 30 netters and 39 helpers and added 4 goals and 7 assists in the playoffs with the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL.

Over two years with the Phoenix, Gauthier has lit the lamp 48 times and helped with 60. He also has 15 playoff points over two years.

Multiple sources have speculated that Gauthier will be picked up by the Hurricanes in the first round.

But Carolina has the opportunities to look at other prospects.

Also from the QMJHL is Brady Schultz of the Halifax Mooseheads.

Schultz is a defensemen with two seasons in the QMJHL. He shoots lefty and with some weight on him could be a sizable linemate.

On the 2022-23 season, Schultz had 36 assists, 42 points, and an impressive 42 PIM. And did we mention he was a whopping +45.

If Carolina is looking to add size and some heaviness, Schultz might be a viable option.

While Plano, Texas and Finland are the leading contenders for providing the most Carolina Hurricanes, it is not outside the realm of possibility for the Canes to look in fields afar for prospects.

Currently playing for Japan in international play is Tomakomai, Japan’s own Yushiroh Hirano.

Hirano has lit up the 2022-23 WC D1B with 7 goals in 5 games including this nifty little piece of net music.

Having spent most of his North American career between the ECHL and the AHL, Hirano has scored at both levels but is older than traditional prospects getting a look from the Carolina Hurricanes.

Most of the 2022-23 was split between the Abbottsville Canucks of the AHL and the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL.

What the Hurricanes would do with Hirano would be interesting, and he might be superfluous but it is interesting to bring his name up and see how people react.

In all Carolina has options to develop prospects and make trades this off season. As the picture remains unclear with the AHL affiliation, there is the possibility that players might be parceled out to different teams providing some options for loans and trades.

With good draft possibilities, the Hurricanes can add the size so evidently needed. There is potential for picking up a few goal scores and possibly finding a defensemen to supplement the already talented corps on the ice.