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