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.
A rough-and-tumble forward who can also contribute offensively, Bussieres has the combination of skills that makes scouts drool. But the question remains on whether he can put it all together on a consistent basis. With solid size, a willingness to use it and great offensive instincts, Bussieres's skills could lead to a pro future in a number of different roles. Although that skill set is still raw, Minnesota can afford to be patient with the young power forward.
Bussieres is expected to be with Iowa this season and will be competing for top-six minutes. The agitating forward is highly regarded but will have a steep learning curve.