We are less than two weeks away from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft (July 23-24), so it’s time to start researching the prospects likely to be selected in the first round. The Columbus Blue Jackets currently hold three picks in that round: #5, #24, and #31.
Position: Center/Right Wing
Team: Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: October 22, 2002
Birthplace: L’Islet, Quebec
Height: 6’ 0”
Ranked #25 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #37 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #24 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #19 by NEUTRAL ZONE
Ranked #21 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #28 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #13 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #19 by SPORTSNET’S
Ranked #15 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #27 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #35 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #34 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #17 by TSN/McKenzie
Games Played: 63
Games Played: 29
Xavier Bourgault will likely be a mid to late first round pick come July 23rd. The Québécois has spent time at both center and right wing for the Shawinigan Cataractes. Based on scouting reports, he seems to have several skills that would translate nicely to the NHL. The common praises of his game are his ability to adapt his playing style, maintain possession through contact, and a deceptive shot that can surprise goalies. However, there is some criticism of his skating. His speed is limited because of his wide stance and that becomes a hindrance defensively.
I like Bourgault at #31 if he falls that far. He may not fall that far, however, because of the strengths he possesses. He could end up being a dangerous NHL player if his skating can improve. His ability to hold on to the puck in traffic is a hard to teach skill and his deceptive shot will give him an advantage over other prospects should he make it to the NHL.
Bourgault is a player who I’ve often referred to as a high-end complementary player. The kind of forward that helps round out a line or plays an integral role in a deep playoff run but not a guy who is going to drive the results on his own. He has such an adaptable and versatile offensive skill set that he is able to join just about any line and play whatever role is needed. If you need him to be the goal scorer, he can do that with a good release and the impressive ability to look off defenders and change the angle of his shot. If you need him to be a playmaker, he has the touch and passing vision to do so. He could do a bit more on puck retrievals and battles which is a bit reason he needs to get a bit stronger. - Tony Ferrari, Dobber Prospects
Bourgault’s game doesn’t leap off the ice at you but he’s dangerous in a variety of ways, with a deceptive release that comes off of his blade early in his shooting motion and stance to surprise goalies (off of either foot or from awkward postures, too) and good playmaking instincts inside the offensive zone. He’s also an able carrier who adjusts to pressure and plays through contact consistently thanks in part to good core balance over a wide skating stance — a stance which can create a bit of an A-frame and limit his speed, though I’d still qualify him as an above-average skater. - Scott Wheeler, The Athletic
While Bourgault is outstanding when he is in control of the puck, there are some challenges when he does not possess the puck... his reachability hurts him when poke-checking. His wide skating stance hurts his mobility and slows him down when he is on the forecheck/back-check. - Smaht Scouting
Where would you pick Xavier Bourgault?
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