Francois Bouchard Profile
The first of three players with NHL bloodlines chosen by the Capitals on Saturday, Francois Bouchard is the younger brother of Minnesota Wild center Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Francois Bouchard had a stellar season with Baie-Comeau of the QMJHL in 2005-06, finishing 13th in the league with 102 points. In the process, Bouchard more than quadrupled his scoring output from the previous season.
Able to play center or on the wing, scouts see Bouchard as a player who might be able to play on the second line and get some power play time at the NHL level. The 18-year-old forward is likely to turn pro after another season or two in the Quebec League. Bouchard will probably require some AHL seasoning before he reaches the NHL.
What Others Are Saying:
Central Scouting Bureau
Central Scouting Report: Is a good skater with good speed, balance and leg strength who is solid on his feet … he possesses very good hands and playmaking abilities handling the puck well in tight quarters and protecting it well … he is especially effective on the power play, reads the play well, feeding teammates with accurate passing and has very good scoring instincts … his wrist shot is quick and accurate … is quick to jump on any loose pucks around the net and can score in many ways … has very good hockey sense and is used to kill penalties … competes offensively, his positioning in defensive zone is solid and he will not hesitate to go on offense quickly … Baie-Comeau’s 1st pick, 20th overall, in the 2004 QMJHL Draft … was selected to play in the 2006 Top Prospects Game in Ottawa … also selected to the 2005-06 QMJHL All-Star Game for the Canada-Russia challenge.
Nickname is Butch because of his last name … favorite NHL team is Minnesota Wild … favorite player is his brother – Pierre-Marc, a member of the Wild … wears number 16 … thanks his parents and his brother for being the most influential influence on his hockey career … patterns his game after Atlanta’s Marian Hossa because he has “good hands and a good shot” … outside of sports, he most admires his brother for “always being there in the good and bad moments” … most memorable game played was the Quebec Midget All-Star Game … most memorable game watched was the Young Guns game at the 2004 All-Star Weekend in Minnesota … favorites include MTV (TV show), Liar, Liar (movie), Bruce Willis (actor), and Coldplay (musical group) … if he could have dinner with any three people, he would invite: Wayne Gretzky – “my idol,” Jessica Alba – “because she is beautiful,” Lance Armstrong – “he is awesome.”
International Scouting Service
Francois Bouchard; younger brother of Pierre-Marc Bouchard of the Minnesota Wild. He was consistently one of Baie-Comeau’s most dangerous players thru the regular season, finishing 13th overall in QMJHL scoring, but was less than spectacular in the playoffs. Shows excellent hockey sense, has a very good feel for the game in the offensive zone. He has all the skills needed to succeed at the NHL level; a good skater, very good puck and passing skills, and sees the ice very well. Plays too much on the perimeter and is easily intimidated. He will need to improve both his physical and defensive game if he wishes to stick with an NHL team.
Red Line Report:
Younger brother of Pierre-Marc Bouchard had a mostly overlooked 100+ point season. Quick release on accurate shot. Moves puck to the right spot at the right time. Has a world of skill and really soft hands in tight – capable of highlight reel goals with patience around the net. Not as imaginative a passer as his brother, but might be a better finisher around the net. Has uncanny instincts and hockey sense at the offensive end. Plays in spurts – can be dominant for 3-4 shifts, then goes quiet for long stretches. Hurt himself with invisible performance at World U-18s. Wasn’t strong on the puck and didn’t drive through checks. Work ethic was lacking and got him demoted. Not strong in upper body – can be moved off the puck. Needs to bring his full talent to bear on more consistent basis.
Projection: 2nd line scoring winger
Style compares to: J.P. Dumont
The Hockey News:
While one of Francois Bouchard’s strengths is his playmaking skills, he is not quite as gifted as his older brother, Pierre-Marc of the Minnesota Wild, in that department.
But the younger Bouchard is still very talented and his hockey sense is sound, too. And he holds at least one advantage over Pierre-Marc.
“He has more size than his brother,” said one scout.
No kidding. Pierre-Marc is just one NHLer proving good things can come in small packages.
“He [Francois] is a guy who can have success at the NHL level if you put him in the right role, say on the second line and on the second power play unit,” said the scout.
Another scout, who still considers Bouchard to be small even though he is bigger than Pierre-Marc, is certain the younger brother will play in the NHL as well.
“Size and skating are issues, but he is intriguing because of his playmaking ability,” said the scout. “He is not as good a skater [as his brother], but he has great hands.”
But whoever drafts the younger Bouchard would do well to not hurry him into the NHL before his is ready, like the Wild did P-M.
“He needs to be groomed a little and some time in the minors won’t hurt,” the first scout added.