The Montreal Canadiens have locked up a prospect of their own, giving Simon Bourque a three-year, entry-level contract. The contract will come into effect in 2017-18, and Bourque will likely stay with his CHL team for the remainder of the season.
A sixth-round selection in 2015, Bourque actually played three games for the Canadiens’ AHL team at the end of last season on an amateur tryout. The 20-year old defenseman is capable of putting up big minutes in the QMJHL, where he was traded midway through this season from Rimouski to Saint John. With 51 points in 57 games split between the two squads, Bourque is a big part of the blueline for the first place Sea Dogs and will be headed to the playoffs for a shot at the Memorial Cup tournament.
Bourque has turned himself from an offense-first defenseman to an all-around talent this year, capable of shutting down the opposition’s top line. Still an excellent contributor on the powerplay, his ability to feed passes through sticks and find open teammates is one of his strongest assets. Along with Thomas Chabot and Jakub Zboril, Bourque is part of a defense corps that can rival any in the CHL. His jump to professional hockey next season should be an interesting on to follow.