NEWARK, NJ – Tuesday’s scrimmage at New Jersey Devils Rookie Camp ended with a friendly five-against-five shootout. Scoring the lone goal for Team White was soon-to-be rookie Reid Boucher. Skating through the slot, he snapped a shot off the post and into the back of the net.
“You can’t teach a shot release that he has and a knack for around the net,” said Devils President, CEO and General Manager Lou Lamoriello. “His instincts, it’s natural. Then the next step is how it’s applied and what the results are after that.”
Goal scoring has become routine for the 19-year-old, who led the OHL last season with 62 goals — 12 more than any other player. His total surpassed Steven Stamkos’ club record of 58.
“It was a really fun year — great teammates, great linemates,” Boucher said. “We just kind of kept clicking through the whole year. I was waiting for a slump and it never hit.”
Albany Devils fans saw first hand Boucher’s abilities at the tail end of the 2012-13 season. The 5-11, 195 lbs. winger signed an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATOs) on Mar. 29 and registered three goals and two assists in 11 games.
With his OHL career behind him, Boucher enters this year’s training camp competing for an NHL roster spot.
“It’s a goal of mine to play in the NHL and I’d like it to be sooner than later,” Boucher said. “But I just have to do my best and work as hard as I can and kind of show that maybe there’s a chance that I could play.”
Boucher’s time with the AHL Devils began the acclimation process many hockey players experience before becoming a full-time professional.
“It was really important, I mean, you get to know the life style of a pro hockey player,” Boucher said of his time in Albany. “You get to know little things to help you throughout the day. Little things to get you ready for games. Little things you should do that you would never think of, so it’s a really good experience.”
New Jersey Devils Rookie Camp continues Thursday with an afternoon scrimmage.