2009-10: After being acquired in a trade from Shawinigan in 2008-09, Danick Gauthier skated in 66 games for the Saint John SeaDogs in his first full QMJHL season. He scored 13 goals with 9 assists and was plus-8 with 68 penalty minutes. The SeaDogs had the QMJHL’s best record, losing just 12 games and finishing first in the Atlantic Division, but lost in the league finals to Atlantic Division runner-up Moncton. Gauthier scored 6 goals with 4 assists and was plus-five with 8 penalty minutes in 21 playoff games. He was ranked 147th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2010 NHL Draft but was not selected.
2010-11: Overshadowed by the higher profile scorers on a Saint John team that won 58 of 68 games during the season, captured the QMJHL playoff title, and won the Memorial Cup, Gauthier was a solid two-way forward for the Sea Dogs. He scored 11 goals with 19 assists and was plus-21 with 78 penalty minutes in 65 games. Gauthier had 3 goals with 1 assist and was plus-3 with 21 penalty minutes in 18 playoff games. The Sea Dogs defeated host Mississauga in the Memorial Cup final. Gauthier played in three games at the tournament and was plus-two with no points or penalties.
2011-12: Gauthier attended the Phoenix Coyotes rookie camp before returning to Saint John for an overage season. He was the leading scorer for the Sea Dogs with 47 goals and 39 assists in 66 games and was plus-46 with 67 penalty minutes. The Sea Dogs were the league’s dominant team; winning the regular season and playoff titles. Gauthier scored 13 goals with 8 assists and was plus-12 with 28 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games. The SeaDogs suffered back-to-back overtime losses at the Memorial Cup after winning their first two games. Gauthier scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was plus-two with eight penalty minutes in four games. He was signed as a free agent to a three-year entry-level contract by Tampa Bay in March, 2012.
2012-13: Gauthier, caught up in a numbers game with the Lightning’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse in his first season, particularly during the NHL lockout, played 38 games for the Crunch and appeared in five games for the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. Gauthier scored 5 goals with 5 assists and was -2 with 32 penalty minutes for Syracuse. The Crunch finished first in the East Division and reached the AHL Finals against Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids. Gauthier did not see any action in the playoffs. In five ECHL games he scored 3 goals with 3 assists and was +1 with two of his goals coming on the Everblades power play.
2013-14: Gauthier appeared in 19 games for Tampa Bay AHL affiliate Syracuse in his second pro season — spending most of the year with the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. He scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was +4 with 10 penalty minutes in 19 AHL games for the Crunch, which missed the playoffs after finishing fifth in the East Division. Gauthier scored 5 goals with 12 assists and was +3 with 51 penalty minutes in 30 ECHL games with the Everblades.
2014-15: Gauthier played three games with Tampa Bay AHL affiliate Syracuse in his third pro season and led the Wichita Thunder in scoring in that team’s first ECHL season. Gauthier was -2 with 2 penalty minutes in one October game with the Crunch and appeared in two games in February, finishing -3 with no points nor penalties. He opened the year with the Florida Everblades, scoring 1 goal with 1 assist and finishing +3 with 6 penalty minutes. Loaned to the Thunder in early November, he scored 29 goals with 39 assists and was -6 with 64 penalty minutes. Wichita missed the ECHL playoffs after finishing fifth in the Central Division.
Gauthier has the size and offensive skills to be a dominant scorer, signing with the Lightning in the spring of 2012 following a 47-goal season with the QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs. In three years of pro hockey he has been unable to secure a full-time role at the AHL level though he did have a point-per-game season playing in the ECHL in 2014-15. Gauthier's commitment to his game and two-way play have been sources of concern at times early in his pro career. His stick handling and passing skills compare favorably with many players his age. Whether he can produce consistently and develops his tactical game to use those tools effectively is his challenge.
Gauthier had his best pro season to-date in 2014-15, leading the ECHL's Wichita Thunder in scoring in the final year of his original three-year entry-level NHL contract. His lack of consistency and inability to crack the lineup for the AHL's Syracuse Crunch, along with the presence of several high profile forward prospects in the Tampa Bay system, make it uncertain as to whether he will receive a qualifying offer from the Lightning. Long-term his technical skills and offensive instincts suggest he can be a consistent scorer at the minor pro level or in Europe. Whether he can show the commitment to one day crack an NHL lineup is his biggest challenge.