Albany (AHL) signs Reid Boucher to amateur tryout contract.— Rich Chere (@Ledger_NJDevils) March 29, 2013
This on the heels of Jon Merrill’s ATO becoming official earlier Friday, meaning the Devils’ farm system will have a pair of top prospects on their roster for the rest of the season. It should be a good test of what both can do against professional competition, although I wouldn’t expect what happens over the final month to be anything other than a brief glimpse into the two players’ talent. Boucher, in particular, will likely need some time to adjust from the pro game after spending his career in junior. While Merrill’s college experience should help him transition better, Boucher could struggle at first when faced with a bigger, faster game. It’ll be fascinating to see how his high-scoring potential translates to the AHL, though
In “news that will make everyone happy,” the Devils signed high-scoring prospect Reid Boucher to an entry-level contract Wednesday.
Devils sign Reid Boucher to entry level deal.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) March 13, 2013
Boucher, a member of the Sarnia Sting, broke Steven Stamkos’ club record for most goals in a season this year. He cannot join the Devils or their AHL affiliate until his junior club’s season is over. The Sting have three regular-season games left and then the OHL playoffs.
UPDATE: An important note here from Tom Gulitti on the specifics of Boucher’s contract:
Reid Boucher's contract doesn't begin until 2013-14. He's not eligible to play in NHL this season.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) March 13, 2013
Prospect Watch: Boucher Running Away With OHL Goal Title
The Devils could use a goal scorer like Reid Boucher, especially the way he’s playing right now.
The Sarnia Sting forward — and Devils draft prospect — scored six goals last week, four of which came in Sarnia’s 13-3 victory over the Erie Otters last Thursday.
Boucher is up to 57 goals — 15 better than Plymouth’s Vincent Trocheck. The 19-year old’s 85 points is good for fifth in the OHL. He’s 13 points behind Nick Cousins.
With six games left, Boucher would have to score an unbelievable number of goals to break the single-season OHL goal record. But he’s three goals from 60 — a mark not touched since Oshawa’s Brett MacLean potted 61 in 2007-08.
Traveling out to the Western Hockey League, New Jersey’s second-round draft pick from a year ago is showing his offensive side as well.
The Kelowna Rockets’ Damon Severson ranks sixth among defensemen with 46 points in 62 games played. Severson leads all Kelowna ‘D’ in points.
Blake Coleman — also a 2011-Devils draft pick — leads Miami University (Ohio) in shots on goal with 110. Coleman’s 14 points ranks him seventh on Miami’s team. The Redhawks are 21-8-5.
On the farm
Though he was called up by the big club, Jacob Josefson’s two shorthanded goals ranks him ninth in the AHL. … Recently called up goalie Keith Kinkaid has posted a 17-11-5-2 record in Albany. The goalie posted a 2.65 goals-against average in 33 games. … Joe Whitney scored two goals in New Jersey’s 6-4 win over the Hershey Bears Sunday. Whitney is second on Albany’s team with 31 points and leads the club with a plus-15 rating and 133 shots on goal.
The Hockey News released their future rankings and the Devils weren’t ranked all that strongly, coming in at 20th overall and receiving a B- grade. Here are some of the prospects they listed:
Stefan Matteau (64th overall prospect in hockey)
Reid Boucher is putting in serious work in the OHL, something we’ll talk about early next week and guys like Merrill and Matteau look like future cornerstones. The Devils have never really been an organization to draft the high-scoring flashy prospect, and seem to build more from the underrated group. What do you think of the rankings? Sound off below!
The Hockey Buzz has posted a good look at some Devils prospects. They go over the play of goaltender Scott Wedgewood and winger Reid Boucher. Wedgewood stopped 35 of 36 shots against the Barrie Colts of the OHL. Boucher has 21 goals this season in the OHL. In the article they compare him to Phil Kessel. So there is a lot of potential for the up and coming Devils. Give it a read.