Photo Credit (@NHLFlyers/ Instagram)
Photo Credit (@NHLFlyers/ Instagram)

In a surprising turn of events, the Philadelphia Flyers traded Cutter Gauthier, the No. five pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night. The trade involved Jamie Drysdale and a second-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.

Gauthier, a 19-year-old forward, has been a standout player this season, scoring 23 points (13 goals, 10 assists) in 17 games for Boston College. He was also named the best forward at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he helped the United States clinch the gold medal.

However, the trade was not without controversy. Flyers general manager Daniel Briere revealed that Gauthier had expressed an unwillingness to play for the Flyers. Despite numerous attempts to communicate with him, Gauthier remained unresponsive, leading to the decision to trade him.

Drysdale, a right-shot defenseman, is expected to be a valuable addition to the Flyers’ lineup. The 21-year-old player is anticipated to be a key player in the Flyers’ power play strategy.

Drysdale, who was drafted 6th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2020, has appeared in 123 career NHL games over four seasons, scoring eight goals and 37 assists for 45 points. He also has a career +/- of -39.

In the 2023-24 campaign, Drysdale had five points (one goal, four assists) in 10 games with Anaheim.

The trade has sparked a flurry of reactions across the NHL. Some have criticized Gauthier’s refusal to play for the Flyers, while others have praised the Flyers for turning a negative situation into a potential big positive.

Gauthier will now join a young Ducks forward group that includes Troy Terry, Trevor Zegras, Mason McTavish, and 2023 first-round pick Leo Carlsson.

In the end, both teams are looking forward to the future. The Flyers are excited to have Drysdale on their team, while the Ducks are eager to see what Gauthier will bring to their young forward group.

As the dust settles on this trade, all eyes will be on Gauthier and Drysdale to see how they perform with their new teams.