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GAUTHIER: 'I DON'T TRAIN TO LOOK GOOD WITHOUT A SHIRT ON'

by Jourdon LaBarber / Buffalo Sabres
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Julien Gauthier didn’t come to the NHL Scouting Combine to dominate on the bench press or the pull-up bar. That's not what he's been training for, although after a quick peek at his family tree it's easy to see why he would be asked the question.

While many of the prospects at the Combine had fathers or family members who played professional hockey, Gauthier comes from a line of athletes of a different sort. His grandfather, Denis, and his father, Mark, are both former winners of the Mr. Canada bodybuilding competition.

His grandmother is Joanne Gauthier, formerly Joanne Rougeau, a member of a famous Canadian wrestling family. She is the sister of Jacques and Raymond Rougeau, better known as The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, a tag team of professional wrestlers who were with the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s.

Julien takes more after his uncle, Denis Jr., a 554-game veteran of the NHL who played for Calgary, Phoenix and Los Angeles. So, while he has been training since he was 9 years old, it wasn’t to show up at the Combine looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"I don’t train to be a body builder," he said. "I don’t train to look good without a shirt on."

What he does have, he says, is tremendous leg strength, something that was evident in his Combine results. Gauthier placed second in the vertical jump with a mark of 26.69 inches and first in the standing long jump at 120 inches.

Those legs are the base of a 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound frame that could make him an ideal power forward in the NHL. Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has Gauthier ranked at No. 19 on his list of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects in 2016, citing that size and his well-rounded game.

After seeing him in person, it will be hard for teams to disagree. He may not have been training to look good without a shirt on, but Gauthier was proud that he could show off what he has been working for with the League's eyes on him.

"Of course, and it shows," he said. "Everyone is saying you're serious about what you do and you're dedicated and you show them that you're strong too so you can be a pretty good asset."

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