Evan Bouchard, London Knights (OHL)
Age on Draft Day: 18
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 180 lbs.
2017-2018 Stats: 67 GP, 25 G, 62 A
Projection: Top-four playmaking defenseman
Bouchard’s numbers are staggering. Any time a defenseman puts up 80+ points, it’s going to turn a lot of heads. He was the best defenseman in the OHL in 2017-2018, leading in scoring across the chart. Bouchard is an excellent passer with a lot of versatility — the 18-year-old can do it all whether it’s a stretch-pass, saucer, or passes made in small spaces. What’s really interesting with Bouchard is his scoring rates despite playing for a London Knights team who wasn’t particularly great this season. The Knights unloaded some key players when it was clear they weren’t going to be in the playoffs, but Bouchard’s scoring didn’t slow down.
The developing debate for many scouts, fans, and likely NHL officials is would you rather have Evan Bouchard, or Noah Dobson?
I see Bouchard as more of a offensive threat — he’s got a ton of creativity, he’s rarely out of position, and what seems to be razor-sharp instinct. If I had to pick anything that needs to improve for Bouchard, it would be his skating. He’s not a bad skater, he’s got an explosive first-step, but with players like this, I really like seeing some more fleet-footed ability. Another thing that Future Considerations points out is his shot.. I haven’t looked into it as much, but it sounds as if scouts would like to see a a little more boom from the blue-liner’s slapshot.
Bouchard also has great size for a player of his style — he’s got a big wingspan, but you’d definitely hope that he becomes a little more aggressive, utilizing his frame.
There’s been a lot of banter about the Red Wings potentially trading out of the 6 spot. I don’t see them moving up in the draft, so if they’re moving down, Bouchard will likely be out of the question. I don’t see him sliding out of the top-10.
I don’t think you can go wrong with this pick. The constant theme for the Red Wings is that they really can’t go wrong with Evan Bouchard, Noah Dobson, Adam Boqvist, or Quinn Hughes. Of the four, Bouchard isn’t at the top of the list, but he’s no-doubt one of the five best defensemen in the draft. The team has scouted him all season, As Helene St. James points out, they’ve interviewed him multiple times, so is this their guy at 6?
Would you draft Evan Bouchard at 6th overall?
This poll is closed