While many experts talk about how bad the New Jersey Devils prospects are, one guy fans were extremely excited about was Reid Boucher. He was coming off a season in which he broke Steve Stamkos‘ record for goals with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. When you hear a prospect from any level scoring 62 goals in a season, you are going to get excited.
Boucher started the season off in the AHL. While he wasn’t scoring at the amazing clip he did prior, he did score 22 goals in 56 games with the Albany Devils. His production caused the Devils to call him up in early December.
He spent nearly two full months with the team before being sent back to the AHL, and he saw time on almost every line while on the big league club. He spent most of his time on the fourth line, but he did get valuable experience on lines with seasoned vets Jaromir Jagr, Travis Zajac and Dainius Zubrus at different times.
It seemed like that Boucher was a little scared to pull the trigger on his shot at times. That is to be expected with a rookie. People tend to forget that he is only 20 years old. He only scored two goals in his 23 games, but he gained invaluable experience. This was his first professional season. There is no reason to feel anything other than excitement when it comes to Boucher.
He finished his NHL season with a plus-2 plus/minus, and that’s a great sign when his biggest weakness seems to be on the defensive side of the puck. He was really focusing on getting better in that aspect.
It would be really interesting what Boucher could have done with more time in the bigs. He is one of the few prospects who will see time with the Devils in 2014-15. He looks like he will be ready for it when his number is called once again. As far as his rookie season, he did everything he was asked. He was the only player to score a shootout goal for the Devils for most of the season, and he deserves a spot on the team.
Season Grade: B+