New Jersey Devils

OHL News: The Future of New Jersey Devils Record-Breaking Prospect Reid Boucher

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 25:  99th overall pick Reid Boucher by the New Jersey Devils poses for a portrait during day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Joseph KuchieCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2013

One of the fastest growing names among all NHL prospects is Reid Boucher, the New Jersey Devils fourth-round pick from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Boucher scored his 60th goal of the season this weekend, breaking the Sarnia Sting record of 58 set by Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos in 2008. In only 63 games, Boucher has recorded 60 goals and 91 points with an impressive plus-minus rating of plus-14.

The recent success of Boucher has many Devils fans buzzing, especially with New Jersey on a four-game slide and the offense showing inconsistency. However, there is no reason to think Boucher will be making an appearance at the NHL level anytime soon.

For one, although 60 goals in 63 games is impressive, it really isn't a high mark in the OHL. There has been at least one 50 goal scorer in the OHL every year since the 2005-2006 season with three players scoring at least 60 in that span (h/t OHL Network).

Although some players on that list include Patrick Kane, Ryan Callahan and John Tavares, there are other players that have never made the NHL level like Tyler Donati, Brett Parnham and Bryan Cameron.

The OHL record for goals in a season of 87 was set by Ernie Godden in 1988, who went on to play just five NHL games in his career (h/t Hockey DB).

Another interesting statistic is that despite his 60 goals, Boucher isn't even the leading scorer for the Sting. Undrafted forward Charles Sarault has already recorded 102 points for Sarnia in 63 games with 80 assists and a plus-18 rating.

This isn't to say Boucher won't get a chance for the Devils eventually, but to think he will come up at 19 years old after one good season is not logical. Fans must remember that Boucher only had 28 goals and 50 points just a season ago in the same amount of games.

The best case scenario would be to see Boucher over the next three seasons, perhaps if Patrik Elias decides to hang up the skates. That is not saying that Boucher will ever become as consistent as Elias has been, but it would be nice to have a goalscorer to match with Ilya Kovalchuk in the future.

While Boucher has made a name for himself and will eventually become an NHL player, don't expect it too soon.

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