Raphael Bussieres
Image: NHL

Raphael Bussieres

Hometown:

Longueuil Quebec

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1993-11-05

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2012

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2012

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

2nd round (46th overall), 2012

Weight:

195 lbs.

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History

2009-10: The fifth overall selection in the 2009 QMJHL Entry Draft when he was selected by Moncton, Raphael Bussieres made his QMJHL debut as a 15-year-old with the Wildcats before returning to midget hockey with College Charles-Lemoy in Quebec. Baie-Comeau obtained Bussieres in exchange for Nashville prospect Gabriel Bourque in a trade deadline deal in January and Bussieres finished the season with the Drakkar. He also represented Quebec in the 2010 U17 World Hockey Challenge. In 20 games with the Wildcats, the eventual QMJHL champions, he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was plus-two with 8 penalty minutes. Bussieres saw increased ice time playing with Baie-Comeau, who finished last in the East Division and missed the playoffs. In 24 games he scored 6 goals with 8 assists and was minus-25 with 13 penalty minutes. In five games at the WHC he scored 1 goal with 1 assist for Team Quebec. In nine midget AAA games with College Charles-Lemoy, Bussieres scored 10 goals with 15 assists and had 4 penalty minutes.

2010-11: Playing on an inexperienced Baie-Comeau team that won just 12 games and had several 16 and 17-year-olds in full-time roles, Bussieres finished as the Drakkar’s second-leading scorer. He scored 17 goals with 22 assists in 66 games and was minus-31 with 39 penalty minutes. Baie-Comeau missed the playoffs for a second straight season; finishing last in the East Division.

2011-12: Bussieres was the third-leading scorer for much-improved Baie-Comeau in his second full season with the club. Skating in 56 of 68 games for the Drakkar, he scored 21 goals with 23 assists and was minus-two with 60 penalty minutes. Despite finishing last in the East Division, Baie-Comeau reached the playoffs, finishing with 64 points, and upset Victoriaville before being swept by Memorial Cup-bound Saint John. Bussieres scored 3 goals with 5 assists and was minus-one with 11 penalty minutes in five playoff games; missing three games due to a suspension for an illegal hit in the Victoriaville series. Ranked 129th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, Bussieres was selected by Minnesota in the second round (46th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

2012-13: Bussieres returned to Baie-Comeau for his fourth QMJHL season and also attended the Wild’s training camp in January. He was the third-leading scorer for the Drakar, scoring 29 goals with 39 assists in 60 games and was +27 with 43 penalty minutes. Baie-Comeau was first in the East Conference and reached the QMJHL finals against Memorial Cup champion Halifax. Bussieres scored 4 goals with 12 assists and was +8 with 18 penalty minutes in 19 playoff games. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Wild in May, 2013.

2013-14: Bussieres made his pro hockey debut as a 20-year-old — skating in 61 of 76 games for Minnesota AHL affiliate Iowa as a rookie. He scored 5 goals with 14 assists and was minus-5 with 51 penalty minutes. Iowa missed the AHL playoffs; finishing fifth in the Midwest Division. 

2014-15: Bussieres skated for Minnesota at the Traverse City rookie tournament and attended training camp before being assigned to the Iowa Wild. Limited to six AHL games due partly to concussion issues, he was loaned to the ECHL’s Alaska Aces in December, putting up 16 points in 19 games before returning to Iowa to finish the season. In nine AHL games he was -4 with no points nor penalties. Bussieres scored 3 goals with 13 assists and was -1 with 15 penalty minutes while with Alaska. 

2015-16: Bussieres played five games with the AHL’s Iowa Wild in his third pro season, spending most of the year with the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards. He had an even plus/minus with 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes playing for Iowa. Bussieres scored 12 goals with 12 assists and was +1 with 84 penalty minutes in 37 games with the Mallards.

Talent Analysis

Bussieres is a rough-and-tumble forward who can also contribute offensively, He has a rare combination of skills but has yet to translate that into consistent production. With solid size, a willingness to use it and great offensive instincts he could potentially play in a number of different roles but he is still fairly raw as a prospect. He is still learning the tactical aspects of the game.

Future

Bussieres spent the bulk of the 2015-16 season with the ECHL's Alaska Aces, playing five games for Minnesota AHL affiliate Iowa. Considered a reach pick by some when he was selected in the second round in the 2012 NHL Draft, the 22-year-old has had a nondescript three-year career in minor pro hockey, struggling to stay healthy. At the end of his original entry-level contract, Bussierres would be an unrestricted free agent if not tendered a qualifying offer by the Wild. His NHL potential appears limited at this point.

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