Gauthier Carlsson

A key piece of Anaheim's future core arrived in town today as Cutter Gauthier took the ice for his first practice as a Duck Tuesday morning at Great Park Ice.

Signed to a three-year entry-level contract Sunday after helping the Boston College Eagles to an appearance in the NCAA Title Game, Gauthier wasted little time heading west and taking his initial steps in pro hockey.

"It feels great, it's something I've dreamt of as a little kid playing in the National Hockey League and the day is finally here, so I can't be more thrilled," Gauthier said in front of his new locker room stall. "Just getting in here, I've gotten chills getting to the airport, getting settled in and meeting the guys. It's been a really cool experience so far and I can't wait to go for Thursday."

Anaheim's final game of the season will be Gauthier's first as a Duck, Thursday night in Vegas against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights. 

The 6-foot-3 power forward skated with the team's top line at practice Tuesday, alongside rookie center Leo Carlsson and veteran winger Alex Killorn.

"I like to play a fast paced, high-intensity game," Gauthier said. "I like to shoot the puck and make plays, but I wouldn't really say I'm a one-dimensional player. I like to play a 200-foot game and shut down top lines' offenses."

Gauthier joins the Ducks after a dynamite collegiate season. The 20-year-old sophomore scored 38 goals for BC, tied for the most in school history and the most by any NCAA player in 25 years. Gauthier was named a Hobey Baker Finalist, an NCAA All-American and a Hockey East First Team All-Star.

"We had a great team all season long," Gauthier said. "It was great to compete in practice and we made it all the way to the end there and didn't get the result we wanted, but going back [to school] for a second year was definitely beneficial to my development."

That development now continues at the game's highest level and as part of a deep, talented young core the Ducks hope can eventually lead the charge in bringing playoff hockey back to Anaheim.

"They've been super welcoming, super friendly and that's what you want with a young group," Gauthier said. "It wasn't intimidating whatsoever coming in and they've been nothing but the best...That feels good for young kid coming in.

"It was a great warm welcome on my first day here, and I can't be more thrilled to be a Duck."