Combining top-notch puck skills with an even better work ethic, Xavier Bourgault is a ‘can’t miss’ talent.
One of the most improved players last year, Bourgault found both his confidence and his offensive game, skyrocketing to 33 goals and 38 assists in 63 games to finish tied for the team lead in scoring with the Shawinigan Cataractes.
Through the early goings of 2020-21, it’s been more of the same from the native of L’Islet, Que., as Bourgault already has 12 points to his name through 10 appearances. That ability to decorate the scoresheet with regularity makes Bourgault a top prospect from the coming NHL Draft.
Bourgault discussed his approach to his draft year and more in the latest edition of the CHL Sunday Spotlight presented by WINMAR:
You were one of only 13 CHL players to receive an ‘A’ grade from NHL Central Scouting. What does that recognition mean to you?
It means a lot. Since I was young, I have watched the NHL. It’s a big dream for me. I have dreamed about it since I was very young so I need to continue to work to accomplish my dream.
What can you learn from teammates like Mavrik Bourque and Vasily Ponomarev who went through the draft experience last year?
First of all, both are great players on the ice. Off the ice, you can see that they are very prepared and that they do the little details so I have learned a lot from both players.
You were considered a breakout player last season. What do you attribute to your 51-point improvement?
In my first year, I was very young. I think in the second year, I was better on the ice and I was more comfortable with my role on the team. I think my offensive play was better too.
What are your goals for this season?
I want to be more consistent and improve my defensive game from all aspects.
Which NHL player do you model your game after and what aspects do you like about his playing style?
I think it’s T.J. Oshie from the Washington Capitals. He is a great offensive player, lots of skills, he has a great shot, and he can score goals.