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Did the Devils get a gem in Reid Boucher?

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The New Jersey Devils 4th round pick in 2011, Reid Boucher is on an absolute tear in the Ontario Hockey League as of late. Though he may not have met up to expectations in his rookie year after signing with the Sarnia Sting, Boucher is now dominating the league in goal scoring. He posted 28 goals, 22 assists and finished -19 last season. After putting in two more goals yesterday, including an OT winner, he now leads the OHL with 49 in 54 games and sits 5th in the league in scoring with 74 points. Vincent Trocheck sits in second, with 38.

Some of these younger players missed time for WJC, yet Bouchers’ GPG average is league leading. Everyone assumed his production was only coming from playing the wing on Alex Galchenyuk’s line, however, Boucher has been scoring 1.35 goals per game without him this season. He is now 9 goals away from breaking Steven Stamkos team record of 58 goals in a single season and he has plenty of games left to do it.

Meet Reid in this 2012 Training Camp Interview from New Jersey Devils PR.

Bouchers key asset is his shot. In his scouting report it is noted that he has one of the best releases ever seen. One scout said he has the best shot since Phil Kessel. So, the question with Boucher is as follows: is his shot effective enough for him to succeed at an NHL level?

Boucher has good hands and puck control but he’s not the strongest skater and he’s also not the best in his own end. He has however, improved his +/- rating this year all the way up to a stellar +8. He is also seeing time on the second PK unit.

There have been players who made it in the NHL on their shot alone, former Devil Petr Sykora is an example. Reid Boucher is a boom or bust prospect and will either fill out a top six role or he may end up not having much of a career at all. He has the potential to be a perennial goal scorer in the NHL, however he’s still a project. After his current season in the OHL though, it seems as if he is on the right track.

Also keep in mind, Boucher made the cutoff for the 2011 draft by less than a week. He is still only 19 years old, making his numbers even more impressive.

 
Chris Lynch
Follow Chris on Twitter @chrislynchhtw
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