André Boudrias

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André Boudrias
Born (1943-09-19) September 19, 1943 (age 70)
Montreal, QC, CAN
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg; 11 st 11 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Montreal Canadiens
Minnesota North Stars
Chicago Black Hawks
St. Louis Blues
Vancouver Canucks
Quebec Nordiques (WHA)
Playing career 1963–1978

André Gerard Boudrias (born September 19, 1943) is a retired professional ice hockey centre who spent 12 seasons in the National Hockey League as well as two more years in the World Hockey Association between 1963 and 1978. He is best remembered for his time with the Vancouver Canucks, where he was the first offensive star in the team's history. Currently he serves as a scout for the New Jersey Devils.

Playing career[edit]

Boudrias was signed by his hometown Montreal Canadiens at an early age and starred for the Montreal Junior Canadiens between 1961 and 1964. He would twice lead the Jr. Canadiens in scoring, including the 1963–64 team which featured future Hall of Famers Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Lemaire and Serge Savard. He had an explosive start to his NHL career in a four-game callup during the 1963–64 season, notching 4 assists and 5 points.

When he turned pro in 1964, Boudrias was projected to have a great future for the Canadiens, but his career would stall while former teammates like Cournoyer became stars. He would see just three games of NHL action over the next three seasons, recording a single assist, while buried in the Canadiens' deep farm system.

However, the NHL's expansion in 1967 would prove to be a great opportunity for players like Boudrias, and he was dealt to the Minnesota North Stars on the day of the 1967 Expansion Draft. He would go on to a terrific rookie NHL season in 1967–68, leading the North Stars in assists with 35 and finishing 2nd in points with 53 in their inaugural season. However, he would struggle the following season, posting just 13 points in 53 games before being dealt to the Chicago Black Hawks. He would have a strong finish to the season in Chicago, but was lost to the St. Louis Blues in the intra-league draft that summer. Boudrias would endure another disappointing season in St. Louis, as he recorded just 3 goals in 50 games, and was demoted to the minors for 19 games. However, he would notch 6 points in 14 games in helping the Blues to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they would lose on Bobby Orr's famous goal.

Boudrias' career would finally take off when he was dealt to the expansion Vancouver Canucks for the 1970–71 season. He would quickly become the team's top offensive player, leading the team with a career-high 66 points. He would ultimately lead the team in scoring in 4 of their first 5 seasons, and only trailed Bobby Schmautz by a point the other year.

In Vancouver, Boudrias would earn the nickname 'Superpest' for his tremendous skating and forechecking abilities. Despite being a top-notch offensive centre, he was also a tremendous defensive player who could give opposing players fits with his buzzing presence all over the ice pressuring the puck. He would become one of the young franchise's most popular and identifiable players, and would be the team's first real offensive star.

Boudrias would set franchise records for assists and points in 1973–74, and break both his own records in 1974–75. His 62 assists that year remained the franchise record for more than three decades until it was broken by Henrik Sedin in 2006–07. He helped Vancouver to their first-ever playoff appearance in 1975, the only player from the inaugural squad in 1970 to do so.

For the 1975–76 season, Boudrias was named the team's captain, but slumped to his lowest totals as a Canuck, finishing with just 7 goals and 38 points as he began to be used in a more exclusively defensive role.

Now in his mid-30s and with his NHL career on the decline, Boudrias left the Canucks following the 1975–76 season to return closer to home, signing with the Quebec Nordiques of the WHA. He would spend two more successful seasons in Quebec, helping the Nordiques to the WHA Championship with a strong playoff performance in 1977, before retiring in 1978.

Boudrias finished his NHL career with 151 goals and 340 assists for 491 points in 662 games, along with just 216 penalty minutes. He also notched 22 goals and 48 assists for 70 points in 140 WHA games.

Following his career, Boudrias would go on to become one of the game's most respected scouts with Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey. In 1986, 1993 won the Stanley Cup with Montreal Canadiens as assistant general manager/director of scouting. He then joined New Jersey in summer of 1994. A long-time employee of the New Jersey Devils, Boudrias currently serves as one of the team's pro scouts and has helped build the team which won Stanley Cups in 1995, 2000 and 2003.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1961–62 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 50 34 63 97 0
1962–63 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 50 12 43 55 0
1963–64 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 55 38 97 135 0
1963–64 Montreal Canadiens NHL 4 1 4 5 2
1964–65 Quebec Aces AHL 14 4 9 13 43
1964–65 Montreal Canadiens NHL 1 0 0 0 2
1965–66 Quebec Aces AHL 1 2 0 2 0
1966–67 Montreal Canadiens NHL 2 0 1 1 0
1967–68 Minnesota North Stars NHL 74 18 35 53 42 14 3 6 9 8
1968–69 Minnesota North Stars NHL 53 4 9 13 6
1968–69 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 20 4 10 14 4
1969–70 St. Louis Blues NHL 50 3 14 17 20 14 2 4 6 4
1970–71 Vancouver Canucks NHL 77 25 41 66 16
1971–72 Vancouver Canucks NHL 78 27 34 61 16
1972–73 Vancouver Canucks NHL 77 30 40 70 24
1973–74 Vancouver Canucks NHL 78 16 59 75 18
1974–75 Vancouver Canucks NHL 77 16 62 78 46 5 1 0 1 0
1975–76 Vancouver Canucks NHL 71 7 31 38 10 1 0 0 0 0
1976–77 Quebec Nordiques WHA 74 12 31 43 12 17 3 12 15 6
1977–78 Quebec Nordiques WHA 66 10 17 27 22 11 0 2 2 4
NHL totals 662 151 340 491 216 34 6 10 16 12
WHA totals 140 22 48 70 34 28 3 14 17 10

References[edit]

Preceded by
Orland Kurtenbach
Vancouver Canucks captain
1975–76
Succeeded by
Chris Oddleifson