Anaheim will have three prospects participate in the 2024 NCAA Hockey Tournament beginning tomorrow, Thursday, March 28. Forward Cutter Gauthier (Boston College, No. 1 overall seed), right wing Sam Colangelo (Western Michigan) and center Kyle Kukkonen (Michigan Tech) will represent their respective schools in the tournament. 

Cutter Gauthier (acquired from Philadelphia Jan. 8; Philadelphia, fifth overall in 2022) leads the NCAA in goals (35) and is tied for second in points (35-24=59) in 37 games at Boston College (Hockey East). His 35 goals are tied for the most by an NCAA player in a single season since 2015-16 (Kyle Connor: 35). The 35 goals also tie for the most by a freshman or sophomore (with Connor) in 25 years (1999-2000). It is also the seventh most by any skater in an NCAA season in that same 25-year span. He also leads the NCAA in goals dating to the start of last season, scoring 51 goals in 69 career NCAA games (51-45=96 points). 

Gauthier is the youngest player in Boston College history to reach 35 goals, tied fifth among all-time Eagles goal scorers and three shy of the school’s single-season record (38, Scott Harlow in 1985-86 and David Emma in 1989-90). He leads the Eagles in goals, power-play goals (12), game-winning goals (10) and shots (197). Gauthier was named a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, awarded to the nation’s top player in addition to a Hockey East First Team All-Star and finalist for Hockey East Player of the Year. 

He led Team USA to a gold medal at the 2024 World Junior Championship, co-leading the tournament in points (2-10=12) and assists. He was named the Best Forward and to the tournament All-Star Team. 

Gauthier can join seven prior players in hockey history to win a NCAA championship and World Junior Championship gold in the same year (along with seven Boston College teammates), with the last player to accomplish the feat being current Ducks right wing Troy Terry (USA gold and University of Denver championship in 2017). Terry is the only current Ducks player to have previously won an NCAA title. In addition to Terry, the other six players to win an NCAA and WJC title in the same year include Chris Kreider in 2010 (USA, Boston College), Matt Carle in 2004 (USA, Denver), Jason Botterill in 1996 (Canada, Michigan), Paul Kariya in 1993 (Canada, Maine), Troy Murray in 1982 (Canada, North Dakota) and James Patrick in 1982 (Canada, North Dakota).

Sam Colangelo (Anaheim second round, 36th overall in 2020) is tied for eighth among NCAA leaders in goals (23), setting new single-season career highs in goals, points (23-19=42), assists and plus/minus (+20) this season. He scored a hat trick March 16 to help the Broncos win Game 2 in the first round of NCHC Tournament. Among Broncos team leaders, Colangelo co-leads in goals, and ranks third in scoring and plus/minus.  Colangelo has scored 44-52=96 points with a +21 rating in 109 career NCAA games in four seasons at Western Michigan (2023-24) and Northeastern (2020-23). 

Kyle Kukkonen (Anaheim sixth round, 162nd overall in 2021) has posted 1-11=12 points in 26 games this season as a sophomore. In 2022-23 as a freshman, Kukkonen was named the CCHA Rookie of the Year after recording 18-9=27 points in 39 games. He scored the most goals by a Huskies freshman since 1988 while he led CCHA freshmen in goals and all conference skaters in game-winning goals (4). 

2024 NCAA Tournament Schedule (Ducks Players):

Thursday, March 28
Western Michigan (Colangelo) vs. Michigan State, 2:30 p.m. PT (ESPNU) – Maryland Heights Regional

Friday, March 29
Boston College (Gauthier) vs. Michigan Tech (Kukkonen), 11 a.m. PT (ESPNU) – Providence Regional

Saturday, March 30
*Maryland Heights Regional Championship, 3:30 p.m. PT, ESPN2

Sunday, March 31
*Providence Regional Championship, 1 p.m. PT, ESPN2

Frozen Four Schedule – April 11 and 13
Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minn.

Semifinal Games
Thursday, April 11, 2 and 5:30 p.m. PT, ESPN2 (order of games TBD)
Providence Regional Champion vs. Maryland Heights Regional Champion
Springfield Regional Champion vs. Sioux Falls Regional Champion

National Championship Game
*Saturday, April 13, 3 p.m. PT, ESPN2

* if necessary pending Ducks prospects advance