Phoenix rookie relishes opportunity to compete with elite hockey talent

Phoenix rookie relishes opportunity to compete with elite hockey talent
Vincent L. Rousseau (Photo : Courtesy)

By Michael Boriero

Ethan Gauthier didn’t need to travel too far when the Sherbrooke Phoenix selected him first overall in the 2021 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) Entry Draft.
Gauthier, who was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, has spent most of his life in Drummondville, about an hour drive away from Sherbrooke. The 16-year-old moved to Quebec in 2010, after his father, Denis, decided it was time to retire from the National Hockey League (NHL).
His father also played in the QMJHL, suiting up for the Drummondville Voltigeurs between 1992 and 1996. Although Gauthier isn’t playing for his hometown, he is walking down a similar path that Denis took to the NHL. And he is trying to glean as much as he can from his father.
“He’s been where I am right now, so he knows how it works and how to get to the higher level, so it’s special. There aren’t a lot of players that have the chance that I have, to have a dad that lived a professional hockey career, so I have to take it the best I can,” said Gauthier.
While Drummondville is only a short trip down the highway, Gauthier was sent to live with family friends in Sherbrooke. He told The Record that it hasn’t stopped his parents from coming out to support him. They’ve always followed him wherever he played hockey.
He also has an older brother, Kaylen, who, coincidentally, is in his fourth season with the Voltigeurs. Although both he and his brother have excelled on the ice, he said his parents never put any pressure of them. Denis was always able to separate the coach from the father.
“He never, you know, points were not important. It was just the way you play, the way you work, you know, the work ethic, and that’s what he tried to bring with me and my brother when we were young, just being a good person, and a good teammate,” said Gauthier.
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