With their 99th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the New Jersey Devils selected Reid Boucher from the United States National Team Development Program.
I honestly thought he would have made a fine third round pick, so I'm quite pleased they took him in the fourth round. He's not big at 5'10" and 192 pounds, but he's got good hands and a great shot. Plus, he's got international experience, having represented the United States at the World Under-18 Championships with a big 8-goals-in-6-games tourney. He's committed to go to Michigan State; so like Blake Coleman and many Devils prospects before both, the NCAA experience awaits him. With Boucher's offensive skills and potential, don't be surprised if that translates to higher levels.
It's also a great pick for me personally so I don't have to rush to find research on him. Tom did a great prospect profile on Reid Boucher earlier in the month, so please check that out.
Let me know what you think about Reid Boucher and that the Devils picked him in the fourth round in the comments.Do you like it? Do you hate it? Do you love it? Are you just OK with it? And do you know anything more about Boucher? Please leave your answers and opinions in the comments. As with other posts like this, more will be added later as time permits. Thanks for reading.
Boucher was at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and the Devils' official Youtube page has this video where he's interviewed by the team. Great if you want to hear him talk, why he committed so early to Michigan Tech, and mention what about his game he wants to work on.
Additional Opinions about Reid Boucher
Over at The Hockey Writers, Christopher Ralph has a very good profile on Boucher. Ralph is big on Boucher, going as far as to use Jeff Skinner as a comparison point. While he notes that skating, strength, and non-offensive play all needs improvement, Ralph felt Boucher would go much higher in the draft.
While he did come in at 133th amongst North American Skaters in NHL CS’s final rankings and he could indeed use some work on his skating and speed, I have a strong feeling Boucher is a rising commodity and somewhat of a sleeper as NHL draft weekend quickly approaches.
I have gone out on a limb and ranked him higher than most. In fact, I have him ranked as 37th, coming in as a potential early second rounder. While I believe he’ll likely end up getting drafted lower than that position, I am curious as to when and where a NHL squad will jump in and grab him.
Why then am I so big on Boucher? Plain and simple, the kid has a nose for the net that you just can’t teach. He is first and foremost a pure goal scorer with outstanding hands and a quick release to go with his lethally accurate shot. He has an uncanny aptitude to find open ice and knows how to finish when the opportunity arises, especially in clutch situations. While his skating ability has been questioned, he is very shifty to go along with some very good puck skills.
As we know now, Boucher wasn't that much of a rising commodity. While Ralph, Tom, and many others thought he would go earlier, he ended falling to New Jersey in the fourth round (which is where Tom suggested he should go - points for him). That said, I'm a big fan of the selection because of the offensive acumen he currently possesses. As Ralph mentioned here, traits that can't necessarily be taught. The other parts of his game can be improved upon, after all. Should Boucher become a better skater, a more responsible player overall, and continue to hone his current offensive abilities to the next level, then the Devils got a gift in the fourth round. I, for one, look forward to his continued development at Michigan State.