Reid Boucher by the number: Albany 2013
Games played: 21
Goals: 10 (leads Albany)
Shots: 69 (leads Albany)
No doubt, this is an exciting moment for one of the most prized Devils offensive prospects in team history. It's a smart move, especially given the opponent. Against a big bruising team, someone like Boston perhaps, Reid might get a rude awakening to the NHL. Montreal, on the other hand is a smaller team that uses their speed well. In fact, Boucher was a former teammate of Canadien forward Alex Galchenyuk, when the two were members of the Sarnia Sting while playing in juniors
What Boucher can bring to the Devils is speed and the ability to shoot the puck. He'll be on a line tonight with Patrik Elias and Steve Bernier, which is a great fit for him. In Elias, he'll have someone who will get him the puck and with Bernier, there's someone who can crash the net and possibly bang home a rebound, as well as win pucks in the corners to allow for more offensive chances.
The biggest shortcoming of his game at this point is his ability to backcheck. In New Jersey, that doesn't fly. If you don't play in all three zones, you won't be around very long. For the all-time Sarnia Sting single-season goal leader, he'll have to find the balance between creating offense and being defensively responsible. If he gets caught hanging back a few times, Pete DeBoer may quickly move him off of the second line.
Realistically, unless he goes out and puts up two goals and looks sensational in all three zones, this will probably be a short stay in New Jersey for Boucher. With Ryan Carter on IR, there's a chance that he may get a few games. He could also still stay on the roster but be a healthy scratch. The bottom line is that he knows he has to perform tonight.
If Boucher is able to show some promise, it will bring him up the list for the next time that a forward goes down with an injury. Instead of calling up someone like Tim Sestito like they did for Monday's game, Boucher could easily find himself with the big club again, if he's able to show a well-rounded game tonight.