Michaël Bournival is one of those “do anything” kind of hockey players. The Shawinigan, Quebec native is not particularly big and skilled but is definitely someone who works hard at both ends of the rink on every shift. Bournival isn’t also necessarily the type of player to stand out on the ice but he succeeds by doing the best with what he has. He’s fundamentally sound. Quite simply, he’s a coach’s dream.
Bournival can play any of the forward positions. He particularly excels as a solid two-way centerman who can take that crucial face-off in his own zone to protect a lead at the end of a game. He has all the aptitudes to be very efficient in a shutdown role against the oppositions’ best offensive players and also brings a well-rounded energetic physical game to the table. Oh, and he doesn’t look out of place on a scoring line. He does it all.
It’s no wonder that the Montreal Canadiens acquired his talents in 2010 in a deal that sent defenseman Ryan O’Byrne to the Colorado Avalanche. A year later, the Habs rewarded Bournival with a three-year entry level contract. In a memorable 2011-12 season that included a participation at the World Junior Championship, Bournival captained the Shawinigan Cataractes’ to a Memorial Cup victory in his final season as a junior player.
The Bulldog in Hamilton
Bournival is ready to start his professional career on his journey to the NHL and has begun the 2012-13 campaign with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL.
Bournival might never develop into a top-six forward in the NHL. He clearly has that upside, but is most likely headed towards a third line checker-sparkplug role that can chip in a few goals. In the meantime, he’s someone to keep an eye on in Hamilton.