Who Is Alex Barré-Boulet, Who Should Sign Him, And Why?

Alex Barré-Boulet has taken the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League by storm yet again this season. The 20-year-old standout was drafted to the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the 6th round, taken 102nd overall in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft. Alex Barré-Boulet has had a astounding season in the QMJHL this year.

He has 99 points in 52 games, putting him atop of the standings. He has 30 more points then the second best scorer Alexander Alain even though they have played the same amount of games. Barré-Boulet has never been a stranger to offensive production. Last season, he scored 81 points in 65 games split between the Drummondville Voltigeurs and the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, and  in the 2015 – 2016 season, he recorded 89 points in just 65 games.

He has proven year after year to be an efficient and consistent scorer in the junior level. Even though he has had great offensive seasons year after year in the junior levels, he was not considered to be a high draft pick going into the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He was ranked #141 by the NHL Central Scouting for North American Skaters. Regardless of his draft ranking, Alex Barré-Boulet was not drafted to the NHL.

The strange thing about Alex Barré-Boulet not being drafted to the NHL is that his point production in his draft season was solid and even if he did not meet the characteristics of being a top prospect, he still surely would have been a good player for a team to get in the lower rounds of the draft. If you look at his stats compared to other players taken in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, it seems weird that he wasn’t taken. Every year there are always talented players that are sometimes even top scorers that are passed on in the draft.

It happens all the time and this is because it is hard to scout every young player in the world and see if each one is going to be a good fit for your team or become a top player. But a player like Alex Barré-Boulet, who has been a top scorer for multiple years now, should have at least had a real chance in North America. If you look at other players drafted in 2015 from the QMJHL, you would find that his stats compare similarly to top picks in the draft such as Evgeny Svechnikov, Timo Meier and Anthony Beauvillier.

It is understandable that Alex Barré-Boulet may not have been drafted due to reasons besides his point production, but based on his dominant production for 4 years, he deserves to be signed to an NHL team. Whether he plays in the NHL, AHL or even gets signed but plays in the NCAA or over seas to help improve his skill is a good move for any NHL team.

Even though Alex Barré-Boulet was never drafted to the NHL, his point production did not fade away. He proved year after year to be a reliable top center for any junior team which eventually led to a trade from the Drummondville Voltigeurs to the Blainsville-Boisbraind Armada. He continued to play a strong offensive hockey game with his new team after being traded and has taken his game to new levels this season.

Although Alex Barré-Boulet was ever drafted to an NHL team that does not mean that he cannot play professional hockey in North America. Currently, Barré-Boulet is in his last year of juniors and will have to play hockey elsewhere next season. Alex Barré-Boulet is a center which is a valuable position that all teams can never get enough of.

Young talented center prospects are some of the most valuable in the NHL and if a guy with the point production of Alex Barré-Boulet would be a smart move for any General Manager to have in their organization. Even If Barré-Boulet never lives up to his potential and does not become a elite high scoring threat, it is still a good idea to have him on your team due to his potential. There are a lot of teams that could use a player like Alex Barré-Boulet in their system and he would be a perfect addition.

He has attended the L.A. Kings rookie camp as well as the Las Vegas Golden Knights development camp on a strict tryout basis. He wasn’t signed to a professional contract after any of those camps, but after having an offensive breakout season, it should be enough for teams to keep an eye out for the QMJHL star.

In this article, I will explain which teams could benefit the most by signing Alex Barré-Boulet. He has learned from his experiences in the L.A. Kings rookie camp and the Las Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp and those experiences have helped him into having such a stellar season.

Montreal Canadiens

One of the most confusing teams in the National Hockey League this season has been the Montreal Canadiens. They went from being one of the top teams in the League last season to being one of the worst this season. In addition to their downfall, when you take a look at their prospects, it may be just as confusing.

The Canadiens have potential in their prospects but they lack a surefire top prospect like Elias Pettersson or Eeli Tolvanen. Montreal lacks in some areas in regards to their prospects but flourishes in others. Goalies are not a problem for the Canadiens with Charlie Lindgren, Zachary Fucale, Michael McNiven and Cayden Primeau in the system but their defence does need to be worked on, especially after loosing Mikhail Sergachev in the infamous Jonathan Drouin trade.

Forwards, however, are their biggest concern. Their brightest potential for forwards would be Nikita Scherbak who is currently getting his chance in the NHL as well as Ryan Poehling, Joni Ikonen, Will Bitten, and Jake Evans. These Prospects all have NHL potential but will probably need some more time to develop.

Poehling is expected to be playing in the NCAA for at least another year while Joni Ikonen needs more time overseas to develop his skills before moving to North America, similar to Arturri Lehkonen. Jake Evans still needs to sign a contract and if that happens he could make the Canadiens roster soon or spend tim in the AHL for conditioning. Montreal’s offensive prospects have potential but they do not have a player like Alex Barré-Boulet.

Barré-Boulet is a Quebec native who is similar to a player that Montreal has been known to be interested in for a while, Pierre-Luc Dubois. Instead of trading valuable assets for their future to obtain Dubois, it would make more sense for Montreal to save their future assets and get a player who has potential to be an NHL player and who plays center which as everyone knows is Montreal’s biggest weakness. The Canadiens have also been known to like having french speaking players which is another upside in Alex Barré-Boulet having grown up in Montmagny, Quebec.

Alex Barré-Boulet has shown his offensive upside through 4 years in the QMJHL and signing a professional contract with the Montreal Canadiens would not only be an amazing move for his career, but it would also be great for the organization. Having a dynamic underrated player like Barré-Boulet, who has something to prove, is a great asset to have in your organization, especially one poised for a rebuild and lacks in the centre position.

Las Vegas Golden Knights

The Las Vegas Golden Knights have had an incredible season that not many people predicted. They are currently sitting 3rd in the entire NHL in the standings and are poised to make their first playoff appearance in franchise history in their inaugural NHL season. They are playing great hockey in every single position which raises the question, why would Vegas need Alex Barré-Boulet?

One reason why Barré-Boulet is a good addition to their roster is the fact that a lot of the Knights players are on short term contracts and having a player with potential like Alex Barré-Boulet is a good resource to have in their system. Vegas has top prospects already such as Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki, but having an additional center like Barré-Boulet with so much potential would be a smart move considering they have players that may not return next season to the organization due to short term contracts. They will also be forced to fill out an AHL roster as well as an AHL roster next season and bringing in CHL players with top potential is a good way to help develop prospects and make their team have reliable assets for the future to help maintain their winning ways.

Alex Barré-Boulet was not signed to a professional contract after taking part in the Golden Knights development camp this past offseason. It seems however that the experience of that development camp has helped Barré-Boulet have such a stellar offensive season. Vegas is not desperate for a young center considering the prospects in their system already, but having a player like Alex Barré-Boulet can help fill out their AHL roster and help the AHL team grow as well as helping Barré-Boulet gain more experience so he can eventually be slotted into the NHL roster in order to help carry on the team.

If Alex Barré-Boulet could maximize his potential and prove himself in training camp or the AHL then he could be slotted into the lineup and take on a third or 4th line role possibly replacing and being a better player then Pierre-Édouard Bellemare. Overall, the Golden Knights may not seem like they are in a position that requires such prospects but with the emergence of their AHL team and their need to have young players for the minors and with aging players on the roster and many players on short term contracts, it would be extremely beneficial for The Las Vegas Golden Knights to sign Alex Barré-Boulet.

Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings are struggling again this season and look to miss the playoffs for the second year in a row after making the playoffs every year for over two decades. The Red Wings are a team that have a strong need for a player like Alex Barré-Boulet. The team has been struggling as of late and this could be due to the fact that in the last few years, their star players have been getting older and can not hold the team into playoff contention on their own any longer.

Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall are each 37-years-old and although they are playing good hockey despite their age, it is unlikely that they can keep this going for years to come. Detroit already has young talent playing at the NHL level like Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha, and Andreas Athanasiou, they also have some good prospects in the minor and junior leagues such as Dennis Cholowski, Michael Rasmussen, and Matt Puempel. Despite these young assets, they are still lacking surefire NHL top centers.

Now I am not saying that Alex Barré-Boulet is the center that will save the franchise and bring the cup back to Detroit. All I am saying is that Alex Barré-Boulet has the potential to be a top NHL center and is a low risk high reward player that can help further imporve Detroit’s young core and strengthen their lineup. The Red Wings have enough cap to sign Alex Barré-Boulet to an entry level contract and would be able to place Barré-Boulet in the minors to help strengthen his game and get accustomed to pro level hockey before potentially making the jump to the NHL.

Although I have listed 3 teams that could benefit immensely from signing Alex Barré-Boulet, any NHL team can benefit in some way from having a high end center prospect with boat loads of potential and something to prove in their roster. Any of the teams listed above could benefit from singing Barré-Boulet, but these should not be the only teams that should try and sign him. There is a shortage of young centers and their value is high.

Teams are willing to give up a lot for center prospects and proven NHL centers. Signing Alex Barré-Boulet would mean that the team signing him would not have to give anything up in order to sign him. All they would have to do is offer a contract and wait for his response.

Alex Barré-Boulet has shown stats that compare to top NHL players and it would be silly for every NHL team to pass up on him. A team should at least offer a player of Barré-Boulet’s potential a minor league contract at the very least. Alex Barré-Boulet is a low risk high reward player and any team could benefit significantly if they put pen to paper and sign the young QMJHL star forward.

Statistics with courtesy of EliteProspects.com.

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