Islanders place former first-round pick on waivers

The Islanders have placed winger Julien Gauthier on waivers for assignment to AHL Bridgeport, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said Friday.

Gauthier, 26, is without a point in his last six games. He was a healthy scratch in the Islanders’ last game before the All-Star break, a 3-2 overtime loss to the Panthers on Saturday.

The 2016 first-round pick signed a two-year, $1.575M deal with the Islanders last July after reaching unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career. 

After ending last season in a Senators jersey as a result of a February 2023 trade from the Rangers, Gauthier did not receive a qualifying offer after scoring three goals and adding two assists in 17 games with Ottawa.

A bottom-six power winger with good size at 6-foot-4 and over 220 pounds, Gauthier made the Islanders’ roster out of camp after failing to do so with the Rangers last season. He’s been a healthy scratch on multiple occasions this season, including three times since the beginning of January.

In 27 games on the season, he’s posted five goals and nine points while averaging 10:10 per game. His possession metrics have been the worst on the team in his limited role, posting a 36 percent Corsi share at even strength. 

Given he’s under contract until 2025 and is not on an expiring deal, and his $800K salary next season is higher than his $787.5K cap hit, the likelihood of a waiver claim appears low.

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