The NY Rangers currently have a second 1st round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft that will be in the 21-24 range. There are a lot of good targets for the Rangers in that range. None will be Alexis Lafreniere, but the Rangers will land talent given the depth of the draft. The scouting report on Mavrik Bourque is a player that isn’t being talked about as much as others, which is usually right up the Rangers’ alley.
It’s worth noting that I am no draft expert. I did a lot of Googling and Youtubing. You should be checking out sites like Future Considerations, Elite Prospects, Dobber Hockey, and others on Twitter (@SternScouting, @ManUtdTobbe, @aj_ranger, and I’m sure I missed a bunch).
Offensive Forward With Skills To Back It Up
Bourque, a 5’10”, 180 lb center, put up some great offensive numbers in his draft year in the QMJHL. In 49 games, Bourque had a line of 29-42-71, which was tops on his team despite missing 15 games. He has the skill to back up those numbers as well.
Bourque’s game is highlighted by great skating, puck protection, and strength. These are three critical skills that help Bourque manage with his height. He’s “small” for a forward, but he’s difficult to move off the puck and he protects the puck very well. He’s also able to make quick movements in tight to escape danger and set up an offensive chance.
Like any player with Bourque’s high offensive output, he has a great hockey IQ. His quick hands and quick feet make it easy for him to set up teammates. He does this then gets himself to open space, something he does extraordinarily well.
From the highlights, you can see one of Bourque’s greatest strengths. That is is shot. He’s not a pure sniper like some of the others in the draft, but he is a solid goal scorer. His quick hands help him pull the puck in while teeing up a shot. He has a very quick release, which makes him dangerous when the puck is on his stick.
Defensively, Bourque is very well rounded. You will never see him give up on the play or on the back check, which is rare for a kid his age. His high hockey IQ serves him well on the penalty kill, as he gets into lanes and disrupts the powerplay. He doesn’t have that break away speed that would serve him well to turn those into chances, though. That’s probably the only area that is visibly an area to work on.
The scouting report on Mavrik Bourque has him safely projecting as a middle-six forward with top-six potential. The concerns about his size are becoming less and less relevant in the new NHL. Plus the skating, strength, and balance compensate for that. Bourque will need some development time, but he’s likely a great guy in the middle six.