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.

Probability of Success
  • C

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. 

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 skated for the Wild at the Traverse City rookie tournament and attended training camp before being assigned to Minnesota AHL affiliate Iowa to start the 2014-15 season. Limited to six AHL games due partly to concussion issues early in the year he was loaned to the AHL's Alaska Aces in December. Scoring at a point-per-game pace with the Aces he has begun to display some of the potential that attracted scouts coming out of junior hockey. His play suggests he could be back with Iowa before the end of the year. Long-term his skill set suggests he can one day be a top-six forward if he continues to refine his game. To this point his game is still a work in progress.

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