Minnesota Department of Wildlife Hockey writer A series is being started that will look at the top 10 players in team history to commemorate their 20th anniversary last season. THW’s Wild team includes Aaron Heckman, Justin Walters, Maria Holland, and I Vote on this list, and as we strive to become the best player in the history of the team, it will continue to be ranked seventh.
This choice may be a bit controversial He flinched because of the injury However, from playing to his full potential, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who is always creative, ranks 6th on our list.
From the moment he started playing hockey, it was obvious that Bouchard had something special.He played for Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the 2000-01 season Quebec Major Hockey League (QMJHL) This season, as a 16-year-old player, he leads the team in both goals (38) and assists (57). Although this is indeed impressive, Bouchard took a bigger step in the following season. He led the entire QMJHL with 140 points in 69 games and was recognized as the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year.
Quebec native Sherbrooke’s efforts in the draft year were enough to attract the attention of wild animals because they chose him No. 8 overall in the 2002 NHL DraftBouchard did not spend time on minors, but immediately cracked the roster of the wild team in the 2002-03 season, played 50 games as a rookie and scored 20 points. He didn’t improve much the following season, as he scored 22 points in 61 games. However, after the suspension of the 2004-05 season, he started to play like a true top six forward and one of the best players on the wild team. Although injuries prevented him from consistently fulfilling his potential, he still spent an unforgettable 10 seasons with the organization.
Wild and Bouchard parted ways in 2013, when the talented organizer signed a one-year, $2 million free agent contract with the New York Islanders. Unfortunately, by then, the concussion had a great impact on his health, and he was no longer considered an everyday NHL player. He played only 28 games for the Islanders in the 2013-14 season and 44 games in the American Hockey League. When he brought his talents to Switzerland, it proved to be the end of his NHL career.Playing for the Swiss Premier League Zug EV, Bouchard scored 118 points in 98 games in the first two seasons Quit the sport due to a concussion.
Coexist with wild animals
For most of their early days, the Wild Team was a defensive team, which is why having players like Bouchard was so important in that era. In his prime, the Minnesota team can rely on him on any night, and he has always performed well, scoring 50 to 60 points in a game.
Bouchard broke out in the 2005-06 NHL season when the league was shifting to a game that suits his skills.He ranked third in team scoring that season with 59 points, showing a chemistry with Marian Gabrick. Brian RalstonBouchard proved that his performance was not a one-time fluke because he scored 57 points in 2006-07 season, But the most notable moment of his year was when he scored his iconic spinner shootout goal against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Although those two seasons were impressive, Bouchard had the best season of his career in 2007-08. He played in 81 games that season and scored a career-high 63 points at the age of 23. That year, he set a team record with 50 assists and remained the only player in Wild history to reach this total.His efforts that season won him Five years, $20.4 million extension Minnesota, as a team, hopes that he can become an important cornerstone for the next few years.
Unfortunately, Bouchard never reached that peak again, mainly because of a concussion.After suffering a concussion in the 2008-09 season, he missed every game except the 2009-10 NHL season home opener Due to post-concussion syndromeHis appearance must have been missed that season, because apart from Mikko Koivu, Andrew Brunette and Martin Havlat, the team did not get many offensive opportunities from their forwards. Fortunately, Bouchard made a successful comeback next season, playing 59 games and scoring 38 points. Although he looks good in the game, it is clear that he is no longer who he was. In his last two seasons with the Wild, he played a total of 80 games, scoring 17 goals and 25 assists in the period before leaving New York.
Why is Bouchard worth it?
Due to his short NHL career, it is sometimes difficult to remember how good Bouchard is. As mentioned earlier, no other player in the history of the Wild team can say that they have a season of 50 assists. In fact, some people might say that he is one of the best organizers in the team’s history, because his 241 assists in Minnesota ranks third in the team’s history. Bouchard ranks sixth (565) and fifth in points (347) in all games played. Not to mention how great he is when the Wild team has the men’s advantage, because he ranks fifth in the Minnesota record book with 202 strong game goals.
Again, because of his history of concussions, Bouchard’s peak came to an end early in his career, which of course is a shame. In fact, he is still one of the biggest “hypotheses” in Wild history, especially since his journey began in an era when the game was significantly slower.Nevertheless, despite Bouchard’s injury, he managed to leave his legacy in Minnesota, and his organizational ability still holds a special place in the hearts of fans. And creativity. It is safe to say that he will be regarded as one of the wild greats in the next few years.
As a lifelong hockey fan and a recent graduate of a master’s degree in journalism, it has always been my dream to write about this sport. That’s why you can find me covering the Minnesota Wilderness on THW! You can find previous signatures on Ottawa Citizen, Capital Current and various sports betting sites.