Riley Boychuk
Image: NHL

Riley Boychuk


Abbotsford British Columbia

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









Trade with Buffalo, 2013


205 lbs.

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2008-09: Riley Boychuk scored 7 goals with 10 assists and 86 PMs in a limited role in his first full WHL season with the Portland Winterhawks.  Boychuk (-10) was one of 14 players who had a double-digit negative plus/minus as Portland won just 19 games and finished last in the WHL's United States division.

2009-10: Boychuk,increased his offensive production in his second WHL season as Portland was one of the turnaround stories in hockey, winning 44 games in the regular season and advancing to the second round of the playoffs. Boychuk was also a physical force for the Winterhawks; his 157 PMs were nearly double his 2008-09 total and second-most for Portland behind only WHL penalty minutes leader Brad Ross (TOR). In 66 regular season games, he scored 14 goals with 16 assists and was +12 plus/minus. In the playoffs, he scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was -1 with 24 PMs.

2010-11: Boychuk was once again a physical force while contributing offensively in his third season with Portland (WHL); though limited to 60 games due to nagging injuries. Boychuk was second on the Winterhawks with 148 PMs while scoring 18 goals with 17 assists and finishing with a +5 plus/minus. In the WHL playoffs, Boychuk scored 3 of his 4 goals on the power play and added 8 assists in 21 games as Portland reached the finals before falling to the Kootenay Ice. He finished the playoffs -2 while racking up 50 PMs.

2011-12: Signed to a three-year entry-level contract by the Sabres in October 2011, Boychuk split his first pro season between Buffalo's AHL affiliate Rochester and the ECHL's Gwinnett Gladiators. He skated in nine games with Rochester at the start of the season before being sent to Gwinnett and  was later re-called twice by the Amerks before returning to the ECHL in January and finishing the season in Gwinnett. He had 2 assists with 18 penalty minutes and was an even plus/minus in 26 games with Rochester. He scored his only pro goal, a power play tally, with the Gladiators and also had 4 assists; finishing minus-four with 33 penalty minutes in 20 ECHL games. Boychuk was with Gwinnett during its playoff series with South Carolina but did not play in any games.

2012-13: Boychuk skated for the Central Hockey League's Fort Worth Brahmas in his second pro season. He scored 8 goals with 9 assists and was -5 with 30 penalty minutes in 41 games. Fort Worth finished third in the regular season and reached the second round in the playoffs. Boychuk did not play in any playoff games. Boychuk was not on the Brahmas' playoff roster. Boychuk was obtained by New Jersey in a trade for veteran defenseman Henrik Tallinder in July, 2013.


Talent Analysis

The big power winger needs to add more muscle and speed to be the bruiser he once was in the WHL. Boychuk is all about hard work and grit but does not project to be anything more than a fourth-line player. Boychuk is also a player who plays better when the game gets physical, giving him a chance to be more involved in the play.



The Devils acquired Boychuk in a deal that sent Henrik Tallinder to the Buffalo Sabres. While he brings grit and toughness, the bruiser seems likely to be a career AHL player.


Patient approach at player development paying off for Buffalo Sabres

by Jason Chen

Brayden McNabb - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Defenseman Brayden McNabb (81) is one of several Buffalo Sabres prospects who would be competing for a spot in the NHL right now if not for the ongoing lockout. (Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)

The Buffalo Sabres have traditionally taken the long and steady approach to developing their projects, giving their prospects as much time as needed to develop into an NHL player. That patience has paid off, with many players drafted in the past five years making contributions at the NHL level last year, and are ready to this year, if or when the NHL lockout ends. Corey Tropp, Luke Adam, Brayden McNabb, Marcus Foligno, and a few others are among those who have proven that they can play in the NHL.

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