Reid Boucher: What Is He Capable Of As A New Jersey Devil?


The New Jersey Devils are an organization with a scarce supply of talented forward prospects in their system. One of their most promising prospects is Reid Boucher who was drafted by New Jersey in the 4th round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Boucher is most known for breaking Steven Stamkos‘ 60 goal Sarnia Sting scoring record during the 2012-2013 season by scoring 62 goals in 68 games. The following season Reid Boucher signed a 3-year entry-level deal with the Devils and was assigned to Albany.

As you can see from the table above, in 34 games over two seasons with the New Jersey Devils Reid Boucher accounted for 3 goals and 5 assists. Needless to say many Devils fans have not been impressed with his performance at the NHL level thus far. While I have also yet to be satisfied with what Reid Boucher has brought to the Devils so far, I do believe a few factors have to do with his lack of scoring at the NHL level.

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The biggest reason for Reid Boucher’s low productivity has to do with his lack of consistent playing time with the Devils. The 21-year old has averaged about 11:30 of ice time in his 34 games with the Devils and hasn’t been able to play on a nightly basis. When he has gotten playing time he has been placed in odd line combinations and hasn’t had many skilled players around him. While this has been the typical New Jersey Devils problem over the last few seasons, it’s not exactly conducive for the growth of a 21-year old forward.

This point could be most evident in looking back at who Reid Boucher played alongside during his record-setting year in Sarnia. Current Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk was linemates with Boucher and there’s no doubt that his presence played a part Boucher’s record-breaking year. It has been two different stories for Reid Boucher and Alex Galchenyuk as Galchenyuk is coming off a 46 point season while Boucher had a 1 point season. Yes, there really isn’t much of a comparison between the two, but it just goes to show you how each player has developed given the rosters they’ve played with.

The good news in regards to Reid Boucher is that he is still only 21-years-old and will be a restricted free agent after the 2015-2015 season. With the New Jersey Devils in a rebuilding phase it is likely that Reid Boucher will finally get the playing time necessary for him to develop at the NHL level. Devils GM Ray Shero knows he needs to bring in more scoring help to improve the team and that could also help Reid Boucher as he learns from more established scorers. Head Coach John Hynes has also seen Reid Boucher play in the AHL over the past two seasons so he also may be able to add to his growth.

This season will be a big make or break it year for Reid Boucher as both the fans and organization have had high expectations for him. He needs to make the most out of any opportunities he gets next season and will have no excuses if he doesn’t perform. Reid Boucher is still trying to establish himself as an NHL caliber forward, but he needs to do so before it’s too late for him in New Jersey. Here’s hoping that Boucher has a breakout year next season and shows both the organization and fans some of that scoring touch he was famous for in Sarnia.

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