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Hurricanes trade Julien Gauthier to Rangers for Joey Keane

The Julien Gauthier era, short as it was, has come to an end in Raleigh.

New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday called time on Julien Gauthier’s career with the organization, sending the former first-round pick to the New York Rangers for defenseman Joey Keane.

Gauthier, selected with the 21st pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut this season and recorded one assist in five games with the Hurricanes, but despite leading the Checkers with 26 goals this season he has been unable to crack the Hurricanes lineup on a consistent basis. He joins a Rangers organization in the midst of a rebuilding project, and leaves Carolina with plenty of unfulfilled potential.

Keane is a 20-year-old right-shot defenseman who was called up to the Rangers two days ago as a contingency plan, but did not play when Marc Staal was able to go in the Rangers’ game against Columbus. As a result, Keane was sent back to AHL Hartford without making his debut. He is in his first professional season after three years in the Ontario Hockey League, where he has eight goals and 30 points in 49 games. Keane spent three seasons with the OHL’s Barrie Colts, where he counted Andrei Svechnikov among his teammates.

A third-round pick in the 2018 draft, Keane is a native of Chicago, and originally committed to playing college hockey at Miami University before changing to the major junior route instead. Keane stands 6’ tall and 187 pounds, and will report to the Checkers.

The release from the team is below.

Defenseman has posted 30 points in 49 AHL games this season

Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired defenseman Joey Keane from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Julien Gauthier.

Keane, 20, has registered 30 points (8g, 22a) in 49 AHL games with Hartford this season. Among all rookie AHL defensemen, he ranks first in goals, fourth in points and tied for fourth in assists. The 6’0”, 187-pound blueliner was selected to the 2020 AHL All-Star Challenge, representing the Atlantic Division. The Chicago, Ill., native posted 102 points (21g, 81a) in 195 career OHL games with Barrie and London from 2016-19. Keane was drafted by the Rangers in the third round, 88th overall, of the 2018 NHL Draft.

Gauthier, 22, posted one assist in five NHL games with Carolina this season, making his NHL debut on Oct. 11 against the New York Islanders. The 6’4”, 226-pound forward registered 103 points (69g, 34a) in 184 career AHL games with Charlotte and tallied eight points (5g, 3a) during the 2019 AHL Playoffs as the Checkers won their first-ever Calder Cup Championship. The Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., native was drafted by the Hurricanes in the first round, 21st overall, of the 2016 NHL Draft.