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Two Cougars attending NHL development camps

Ethan Samson leading the rush.

The Prince George Cougars’ 2001-born goaltender Taylor Gauthier and 2003-born defenceman Ethan Samson will be attending NHL Development Camps.

Gauthier will attend the Toronto Maple Leafs Development Camp in Toronto from September 9-14. Samson will attend the Philadelphia Flyers’ Development Camp in Voorhees, New Jersey from August 28-September 1.

Gauthier is a free-agent invitee to the Maple Leafs camp. The 20-year-old had an impressive 2020-21 BC Division Hub season. The Calgary, AB product played in 15 of the Cougars’ 22 games and posted seven wins, along with a 2.74 goals-against average (GAA) and .915 save percentage (SV%). He also had one shutout. He was twice named the Western Hockey League (WHL) Goaltender of the Week. Gauthier won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in January. In 152 career regular season games in the WHL, the overage netminder has posted 46 wins, a 3.23 GAA, and .904 SV%. He has six career shutouts.

Gauthier previously attended the Boston Bruins Development Camp in 2019.

Samson, 17, was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round, 174th overall, in the 2021 NHL Draft. The Delta, BC product finished third in team scoring during the 2020-21 BC Division Hub season, after he posted 12 points (1g-11a) in 22 games. Samson led the team in assists (11) and shots on goal (64) and was second in plus/minus (+3). The 6’3”, 183-pound defenceman has played in 83 career regular season games in the WHL and has compiled 19 points (3g-16a). In the 2019-20 season, Samson was awarded the Cougars’ Brett Connolly Rookie of the Year Award after he posted seven points (2g-5a) in 61 regular season games.

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