• PROSPECT-UPDATE ARCHIVE
There were a few games involving 2018 draft prospects on Monday, but no top performances. So it's time to discuss the upcoming World Junior Championship tournament in Buffalo.
There were not enough games for a top-performances list on Monday, so it's time to feature another draft prospect here.
The spotlight this week falls on London Knights defenseman Evan Bouchard, a Central Scouting Grade A prospect and a lock to be selected at some point in the first round. Bouchard leads all Ontario Hockey League defensemen in scoring with 49 points in 40 games, and he's tied for 10th in the overall OHL scoring race. He's outstanding on the power-play, as 22 of those 49 points have come on the man-advantage.
Bouchard is a late-born draft-eligible player, having a birthdate in 1999 but not making the cut for last year's draft. This is his third OHL season, and he has already surpassed his 11-goal and 44-point totals from 68 games in 2016-17. He already has 15 multi-point games in 2017-18 and had one November-December stretch of nine points in four games.
Watch the clips below, and you can see the strengths of Bouchard's offensive game. He has a remarkable slap shot from the point, that either finds its way to the net or is likely to be deflected for a goal. He is also great in transition and knows exactly when to be part of the rush. A recent "Hockey News" issue described him as a "two-way threat" and projected he would be picked No. 20 overall. That shows how deep this draft is, because Bouchard would have been a no-brainer top-10 in 2017. Check out all 15 of his goals this season to date: