Francois Bouchard

Hometown:

Sherbrooke Quebec

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1988-04-26

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2006

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2006

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

2nd round (35th overall), 2006

Weight:

195 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D

History

2003-04: Bouchard played for Longueuil Charles-Lemoyne College in Gatineau. He was selected by Baie-Comeau in the second round (20th overall) of the 2004 QMJHL Midget draft.

2004-05: Bouchard saw limited time in his first season with Baie-Comeau in the QMJHL. In 54 games, he scored 11 goals with 13 assists and was -4 with 13 PIM. Two of his 11 goals came on the power play. In the playoffs, he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -4 with 2 PIM in the Drakkar's six-game, first-round loss to Chicoutimi. Bouchard also played for Team Quebec at the World U-17 Challenge and scored 2 goals with 3 assists in five games.

2005-06: Bouchard exploded offensively in his second season with Baie-Comeau Drakkar. He amassed 102 points in only 69 games on a team that was eight games under .500. Bouchard scored 17 of his 33 goals on the power play and had 69 assists. He finished -6 and accumulated 66 PIM. Bouchard was an integral part of Baie-Comeau’s burgeoning power play, doing more setting up than scoring. Bouchard scored 1 goal with 6 PIM and was -2 in four playoff games as Baie-Comeau was eliminated by Chicoutimi. Bouchard played for Team Canada's gold medal-winning squad at the WJC U-18 tournament and scored 3 goals with 5 assists in seven games.

2006-07: Bouchard was the QMJHL's leading scorer and captured the Jean-Béliveau Trophy in his third season with Baie-Comeau. Bouchard scored 45 goals with 80 assists and was +21 with 72 PIM as the much-improved Drakkar finished sixth in the Telus Conference and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Fifteen of his 45 goals came on the power play. Bouchard continued his hot scoring in the playoffs, scoring 7 goals (four on the power play), with 11 assists and was an even plus/minus with 4 PIM in 11 games. Baie-Comeau defeated Victoriaville in six games before falling to Telus regular season champ Val-d'Or.

2007-08: Bouchard made his pro debut following the QMJHL playoffs with Washington's AHL affiliate Hershey. He had one power play goal in four games and was -2 with 2 PIM. He also played in one AHL playoff game and was scoreless with 2 PIM. During the junior season, Bouchard led Baie-Comeau in scoring for the third straight season and though both his and the Drakkar's scoring totals were down, the team finished higher in the standings – one point behind Rouyn-Noranda for first in the Telus Conference. Bouchard scored 11 of his 36 goals on the power play and added 56 assists. He finished +7 for the year and had 70 PIM in 68 games. Bouchard's 10 game-winning goals were the second-most in the league. In the Drakkar’s first round playoff loss to Rimouski, he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -5 with 6 PIM.

2008-09: Bouchard had a solid, if not spectacular, first pro season with Hershey. Playing a solid two-way game, he scored 15 goals with 20 assists and was +18 with 24 PIM in 64 games. Bouchard saw limited time in the playoffs, and did not play after the Bears' first game of the semifinal series against Providence, as the Bears captured the Calder Cup. In 11 games, he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was an even plus/minus with 8 PIM. Bouchard had an assist in the opening game of the first round series against the Philadelphia Phantoms and scored his only playoff goal on the power play in Game 2 of that series.

2009-10: Bouchard received a long look in Capitals' training camp and spent time on the second line in exhibition play but was returned to Hershey for a second AHL season. Bouchard, after starting the season with just one assist in the first five games, scored two goals against Wilkes-Barrre on October 23 to start a five-game run where he'd post ten points. That pattern became a trend a few quiet games followed by monthly hot strings throughout the season. Bouchard finished the season with 21 goals and 31 assists and was +21 with 55 PIM despite scoring just once on the power play. In the playoffs, Bouchard saved his best for last – scoring three times with one assist in the Finals against Texas. Earlier, he had scored in the Bears' opening game against Bridgeport on April 14 but then did not score again until the third round vs. Michigan. Bouchard ended the playoffs with 5 goals and 5 assists and was +9 with 28 PIM as Hershey captured its second straight Calder Cup.

Talent Analysis

Bouchard is an adept playmaker, with a quick release and great vision in the offensive zone. He is an excellent shooter, with a great release and a hard shot, and a strong nose for the net. Bouchard is agile and quick but not particularly fast. Bouchard's production has at times been inconsistent and his ability to compete in high pressure situations has been questioned in the past - though he seemed to dispel some of those concerns in the AHL playoffs in 2000-10. Other issues from his junior career revolving around his work ethic and discipline have also shown some progress. Bouchard has loads of stick handling talent, creative moves and is a slick passer, but he lacks strength at times and can be pushed off the puck too easily. To his credit, he's improved both his strength and his combative play since his junior days. He can play a feisty game and battle when it is necessary, but should avoid undisciplined penalties. Bouchard is the younger brother of Minnesota Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard and a cousin of the Islanders' P.A. Parenteau.

Future

Bouchard once again faces the prospect of competing for a scoring line role on a team loaded with scorers. Despite the impressive numbers he put up in juniors, and has at times puts up in the AHL, Bouchard's ticket to a spot with the Capitals may be as a two-way, lower line forward. While long range he could one day be a scoring second-line forward with special teams prowess, he would likely have to be in another organization to get that type of opportunity.

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