May
14

2018 NHL Draft Profile: Evan Bouchard

May 14, 2018, by
evan bouchard

Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Check out our other reviews: Oliver WahlstromQuinn HughesBrady TkachukAdam Boqvist, Noah Dobson.

Next up in the draft reviews is another defenseman, Evan Bouchard. Bouchard is one of many defensemen that may fall to the Rangers at ninth, but may also be taken long before the Rangers pick. The 6’2, 193 lb defenseman is coming off a huge year with the London Knights, with a line of 21-54-75 in 57 games. He took a whopping 248 (!!!) shots, which is crazy for a blue liner.

As you can imagine, Bouchard thrives on the powerplay, He sees the ice well, he has elite passing skill, and is just an overall smooth puck mover. But Bouchard isn’t just a passer, as you can tell from the number of shots he’s taken. Teams need to respect his heavy shot, which opens up the ice for better looks. But when he does take the shot, it’s low, hard, and accurate. Most importantly, he gets his shot through.

Bouchard has solid agility and elusiveness for such a big body. His awareness helps in this regard as well, as he knows when to join the rush, pinch, or push the play deep into the offensive zone.

The knock on Bouchard has been his speed. He is a little slow on acceleration and has an average top speed. That’s why his agility and elusiveness are so important. He uses that particular skill set (quick feet) to maintain gap control in the defensive end. Combine that with his reach, and you have a kid who is tough to get past. That said, faster skaters might give him issues if he doesn’t work on his top speed.

The most important aspect to Bouchard’s skills is that they are easily transitioned to the NHL. Speed can be improved, but awareness needs to be natural. Bouchard’s potential as a top pairing defenseman is there, assuming he can improve upon his weaknesses.

One last item worth noting: Bouchard’s numbers may be inflated a bit. He’s a late 1999 birthday, meaning his dominating performance was in his third OHL season, not his second. Also he played close to 30 minutes per game on a poor London team, so some of his gaudy numbers may be due to sheer ice time. That doesn’t take away from his potential though. If he’s there at ninth, the Rangers will jump all over it.

"2018 NHL Draft Profile: Evan Bouchard", 4 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.
Categories : Draft

25 comments

  1. Walt says:

    “Bouchard has solid agility and elusiveness for such a big body.”

    Reading this thread, and the others about these kids, it’s like going to a candy store, with a pocket full of money, and being able to buy all you want, but don’t know where to start. Such a problem is great to have to deal with this year!!!!!!!

    I have a feeling that we will go after a forward rather than a d-man, due to the sheer number of guys we have at that position already!!!!!!!!

    • Moose Klein says:

      Just say NO to Bouchard unless you believe he can get in shape….he could be the first 300 pound d-man in a few years or evolve into a smaller Buff…

      • Walt says:

        He’s 6’2″, 193, what are you talking about????

        • Moose Klein says:

          Does the photo lie…or the stat? The camera added a lot more than 10 pounds…why hope he can improve his speed…wasn’t
          that the McAlrath story? Take a look at Smith….

  2. lv says:

    Gorton said he will take the best player available at that time. If Wahlstrom not there at 9, then we probably go D based on available talent. Bouchard would be a good pick, Dobson also.
    We should trade to move up a bit on those low 1st rounders and grab McLeod or Hayton.

  3. SalMerc says:

    Bouchard sounds solid. Hopefully we can grab talented guys both upfront and at the blueline. After watching playoff games over the weekend, we are a mere 8 top players away from being a Stanley Cup contender.

    McD did not have a great game against the Caps. He seems to be slowing down quite a bit.

  4. Jb says:

    Keep all of your picks…talent is plenty in this draft.

    • Leatherneck says:

      Keep all the picks and trade back into the 1st

      even 2nd round is deep….this is a draft year you stay put

      Next year is rich in centers…wing and D this year and 4th line players later rounds

      building depth are players like Groulx, Lundkvist, Kotkov, Hall and Clark

      Bouchard, Wahlstrom and Dobson great picks….Kaut, Bokk, Dellandrea great additions

      trade into for one of Hayton, Kotkeniemi or Wilde

      Next year sign Seguin

      on the Horizon Howden, Gettinger, Ronning, Day, Lindgren, Hajak, Rykov, Crawley, Pedrie, Viirta, Huska, Georgiev, and Sherstyorkin

      Andersson, Chytil, Pionk ready to shine

      Gilmour, DeAngelo, Gropp, Belesky, Halverson, Sproul, O’Gara, Bigras bubble guys

      Spooner….Skjei…keep?

      Should be gone Zucc, Lundqvist, Staal, Namestnikov, Fast, Kampfer,

      Building around Zib, Kreider, Hayes, Shattenkirk, Skjei, Buch, Vesey, Spooner

      For the health of the club it is beneficial to have a bad year again next year.

      Stay way away from players to give you an illusion of compete next year…we are not ready to win a cup….If Lord Stanley was like the Superbowl…1 game…then….eh…Lord Stanley is all about sweet sixteen

      • Jb says:

        Not sold on Spooner or Shatty, but agree on everything else.

        If Wahlstrom, Dobson or Bouchard, obviously, you take anyone of the 3…if not trade down….pick up additional 2nd’s..

        My only fear is that Gorton and co., do not share that vision…we need depth along every position. When he talks about you can’t have a bunch of 18 year olds…i totally disagree. Bruins kept all their picks, Jets never traded picks until this year.

        Bolts for all of their skill are the smallest of the 4 teams and they are getting manhandled. Its not over yet but the early returns are the Caps are having their way with them.

      • Rich S says:

        Leatherneck,
        I can only hope Gorton/sather have done as much preparation for this draft as you have!!!!
        Watching these playoffs 7 of the final 8 teams were full of larger, physical players not afraid to throw some big time checks…..That being said it wouldnt hurt for the rangers to look into acquiring a matt martin ] ottowa retains some salary] and maybe a couple more thumpers who can play and hit….viktor stallberg, cal clutterbuck etc

      • Reenavipul says:

        Your only concern with Wahlstrom is if he goes to Harvard, he’ll likely do the full four, then can be UFA. You’d have to sign him to his ELC over this summer with year 1 being signing bonus driven, then only have a year in Hartford before bringing him up.

        If he’s smart enough to get into Harvard, he’s smart enough to know that the future value of money means more when you start young.

  5. czech!!! says:

    I would not trade any of the first round pick to move up unless its to the top 3. Keep the picks and trade a vet for another number 1 pick. This draft is worth that type of move.

    • Reenavipul says:

      Next year is worth that move.

      • czech!!! says:

        Next year isn’t a strong draft other than Jack Hughes and a handful of a few others

        • Reenavipul says:

          You took too many Czechs to the head. 2019 is loaded and deep. Most of the best players at U18 were 16yr olds.

          • czech!!! says:

            Math must not be a strong suit with you. 16 year olds will be drafted in 2 years not next year when they are 17

            • Reenavipul says:

              U18’s are under 18 on Jan 1. , which means they are or were 17.
              The guys 2 years away are 16 or 17.

              Logic escapes you.

  6. Reenavipul says:

    The year 3 vs year 2 argument is a bit harsh, as the 16-17 team was stacked: 5 drafted players, 1 is in the NHL, 1 is playing against men in Finland and 2 are in the AHL. Even then his production rate was decent as a D in the OHL. This year with those guys out of the way he exploded.

  7. Creature Feature says:

    Bouchard aside, we need at least 4 new roster spots taken by people currently on the roster. Those players need to be better than the players they replace. I am guessing one might be a first rounder if we draft 1-5, but after that, we will need to make trades and go the free agent route if we want to compete next year.

    BTW, I still think we need someone to play on the top pair defensively.

  8. joen7 says:

    do not trade up

    • Creature Feature says:

      Unless you can move a piece like Zucc and your 9th for the 5th! We need to change the chemistry of this team. Not sure if this is enough to make this move.

      • Eugene says:

        It’s going to be overpay, Zucc worse middle 1st plus couple of really good prospects 🙂 Players like Zucc can produce till late 30th

  9. joen7 says:

    Trade down to get NYI back to back picks if possibly deep draft too costly and risky trading up

    • Leatherneck says:

      Joen 7

      If Dobson. Bouchard and Wahlstrom are gone and our best available at 9 is Boivquist or Smith……yeah trade down

      Kotkeniemi, Hayton and Wilde….Flyers with 2 picks, Isles with 2 picks

      • MjrMisconduct says:

        Kotkaniemi is rising on all the draft boards,Wilde is falling,he was almost invisible at the U18 tournament.