With the 209th overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs have selected goaltender Zachary Bouthillier of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens.
The 18-year-old Bouthillier, in his second QMJHL season, started 38 games for a Chicoutimi team that snuck into the playoffs despite a 28-35-4 record.
The 6’2, 185-pound netminder posted a 13-17-2 record with a 3.42 goals against average and a .894 save percentage in the regular season, but the numbers aren’t a true indication of how key Bouthillier was to the Sagueneens making the postseason with his strong play between the pipes down the stretch.
Further, the Quebec native’s performance in the playoffs was a big reason why Chicoutimi pushed the series to six games against the heavily-favoured Acadie-Bathurst Titans in the first round (2.76 GAA, .931 save percentage), with Bouthillier facing nearly 40 shots a game throughout that series.
Bouthillier further beefs up a goaltending prospect stable that includes Joseph Woll and Ian Scott, 2016 and 2017 selections who competed in the NCAA (Boston College) and the WHL (Prince Albert) this past season, respectively.
Zachary Bouthillier Scouting Report
Courtesy of the 2018 NHL Draft Blackbook
Bouthillier had an interesting draft year; he was traded from Shawinigan to Chicoutimi in late August after he was thought to be the goaltender of the future for the Cataractes. With Chicoutimi, he shared the workload with rookie netminder Alexis Shank. He played 38 games and won 13 of them, on one of the worst teams in the league.
Consistency has always been a big issue for Bouthillier, ever since his midget days with the Gaulois in Saint-Hyacinthe. In the first half of the season this continued to be the case: some decent performances mixed with some bad ones. His rebound-control was often poor, and this has also been a big issue with him in the past. After the Christmas break, he made some adjustments and looked more focused in his crease. He played some real good hockey in front of a bad team. Without a doubt, he had the best stretch of his career from January to March of this year.
He has the ideal size for a goaltender, at over 6’02”, and has good athletic abilities. He’s a good athlete with good technique who is also very calm in his crease. He has great work ethic, doesn’t quit on any pucks and can make 2nd and 3rd saves because of his athleticism. He had a great playoff series against Acadie-Bathurst in the first round, with some excellent performances despite facing (on average) 39 shots per game. He ended up winning two of those games for his team, which few people predicted. He had a great second half of the season and postseason; next year, it will be crucial for him to demonstrate that he can do this on a full season. His play after Christmas helped him a lot in terms of getting back into the draft rankings (as it didn’t look like he was going to get picked after the first three months of the season). Now, he looks like he could potentially be a mid-to-late pick in the draft.
Zachary Bouthillier StatisticsDate of Birth: Nov 08, 1999
Place of Birth: Chambly, QC, CAN
Height: 6'2" / 188 cm
Weight: 185 lbs / 84 kg
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