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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers assign Evan Bouchard to the Bakersfield Condors

According to the Bakersfield Condors’ official Twitter account, the Oilers have assigned Evan Bouchard to the AHL Condors where he will join them for their playoff run that kicks off tomorrow night in Colorado.

It’s been a wild season for the former 10th overall pick. After sliding to the Oilers at #10 in last year’s draft, something no one really expected to happen, the 6’2″ defenceman quickly followed that up by signing a three-year entry-level contract with the team just over a month later. While he was not necessarily expected to start the year in Edmonton, Bouchard’s calm demeanour, smooth passing, and a strong pre-season forced the team’s hand a little bit as he made the trip to Europe and got into seven games (1G, 0A) before being assigned back to the OHL’s London Knights in November.

After returning to London, Bouchard took a minute to get settled in again before eventually resuming his post as the team’s offensive catalyst on the blue line. Only Adam Boqvist had more regular season points on the Knights’ back end, despite Bouchard playing in nine fewer games. In the playoffs, Bouchard led the entire OHL in scoring through two rounds after he put up a staggering 21 points (4G, 17A) in 11 games before falling to Guelph in Game 7. Needless to say, this kid is an absolute monster at the junior level and it will be very intriguing to see how he performs for the Condors in the playoffs.

For Bouchard, this playoff run in Bakersfield will bring some much needed experience for the youngster as he continues his path to becoming a professional. While we already know that the offensive side of his game is certainly there, it will be interesting to watch how he handles the intensity and defensive responsibilities that will come with the AHL playoffs, assuming he plays. If you take Bob Nicholson at his word, the Oilers will be getting away from rushing prospects into the NHL, but if Bouchard can make a case for himself with the Condors over the coming weeks, it’ll be hard to ignore him as an option for the Oilers’ third pairing come training camp.

Over four seasons with the London Knights, the native of Oakville, Ontario amassed 201 points (54G, 147A), 142 PIMs and a +96 rating in 223 career OHL games.

BOUCHARD’S CAREER SO FAR

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- PGP G A Pts PIM
2014-15 Oakville Blades OJHL 1 0 1 1 0
2015-16 London Knights OHL 43 2 15 17 24 15 10 0 2 2 2
2016-17 London Knights OHL 68 11 33 44 24 30 14 3 4 7 6
2017-18 London Knights OHL 67 25 62 87 54 23 4 1 4 5 6
2018-19 Edmonton Oilers NHL 7 1 0 1 2 -5
2018-19 London Knights OHL 45 16 37 53 40 28 11 4 17 21 6
NHL Totals 7 1 0 1 2

Source: Bakersfield Condors, Official Twitter Account, 4/18/2019 – 4:31 pm MT

  • Spydyr

    Awesome news!

    I hope the Condors have a long and successful run all the way to the Calder Cup.
    Bouchard and the rest of the kids can gain valuable experience in a winning environment. Something the big club has sorely lacked for far too long.

    Have fun boys!

  • Spydyr

    If he does not play fire everyone on the Condors coaching staff. You have to develop your high draft picks and the is what the AHL is for.

    Give the kid a chance to prove himself in the AHL.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Well if he cdoes even half as well as he did in the OHL playoffs, the condors will be lucky, but I think he’ll enjoy it.It will be interesting to see how he does next year with the Condors, I imagine that he will do pretty well, the kid doesnt seem to rattle too easy and he’s a playmaker. If the Bear get healthy and gets back on track he and Boucahrd could be a couple of horses for the condors on defence

  • OriginalPouzar

    This is going to be great but, although Woodcroft was very noncommittal, the insinuation from him on the Gregor show yesterday is that Bouch is unlikely to play right away (or maybe even at all).

    • OriginalPouzar

      I do agree that that Incumbent 7 (not including Manning) who battled as a group all year deserve to play and have earned it, however, on the other hand, this is our top prospect and a major part of the future – one of the most important pieces for future success. If he started game 1 and played for a substantial run of a dozen plus games, it would give the org a lot of info going in to camp – it would provide more intel on potential NHL readiness than anything he could do during camp and exhibition.

      • OriginalPouzar

        I would be OK if it was Samorukov and he was sitting as he’s not an NHL option for next season and will be a Condor for the year.

        Bouch shouldn’t be an NHL option next year (no matter what happens at camp) with the caveat of the possibility of him blowing the doors off the AHL in the playoffs.

        • cityofchampions

          I don’t think you can just say in a blanket statement that he should spend the whole year in Bakersfield. Even if he blows the doors off at camp I’d send him down to the Condors at the start of next year, but if he proves himself down there over half a year, you shouldn’t impede his development and bring him up. He might have to yo-yo back and forth a bit, but if he proves himself capable, you shouldn’t just blindly leave him down all year.

          • Dallas Eakins Hair

            There are ton of guys like Poolparty we didnt do that with and look how that worked out, I get your point but the Oilers have made way way too many mistakes with Prospects

      • Big Nuggets

        hey Pouzer, what does the defensive depth chart look like for Bakersfield? I guess the left side is Jones, Lagesson and Lowe? trying to remember the right side, Bear when healthy, Day and who? do they play Stanton?

        I get that they would want to reward the team guys that helped get them to the playoffs, but after a couple token games they had best get Bouch into some games. Also nothing against Logan Day, leading scorer on defense for the condors, but Bouchard would still be a good bet to out perform him offensively. At least I would take that bet.

  • OILERSORDEATH

    This is good for Bouch just to stay in this kind of environment . What a beauty, I have good feeling about him. I just ordered AHLTV to watch the Bakersfield games! At least its hockey with Oilers like unies and future Oilers players! Cheers!

  • camdog

    Rushing Bouchard to appease the fan base in Edmonton isn’t good for anybody. The AHL is a man’s league, that is every bit as intense as the NHL come playoff time. I’d expect it would take a week or 2 for Bouchard to at minimum get up to speed with what’s going on. Toughest part is generally getting goalie and d-man on same page in respect to positioning/communication. We’ve all seen the new to the team d-man and goalie have communication problems that resulted in the puck in the back of the net. This will even happen with All Star d-men on new teams.