Now that the trade deadline is over, front offices around the league can turn their attention to other matters. Among them is the pursuit of undrafted players in both the CHL and NCAA, ones that can be brought into the organization for nothing more than money. The Tampa Bay Lightning have struck a deal with one such player, signing undrafted QMJHL superstar Alex Barre-Boulet to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Barre-Boulet is currently leading the QMJHL in scoring with 104 points through 57 games, and is an excellent offensive talent in a league filled with them. The 20-year old forward went undrafted mainly due to his size, as he stands just 5’10” 165-lbs. Tampa Bay might not be scared of that though, as they’ve famously turned undersized forwards into all-star talents. Martin St. Louis, Tyler Johnson and Brayden Point have all visited the midseason celebration of talent, while Yanni Gourde would be in the running for a Calder Trophy if it weren’t for some historic competition. Barre-Boulet won’t have far to look for inspiration in the organization.
He attended training camp with the Vegas Golden Knights this year, but couldn’t secure a contract and returned to the QMJHL to continue his dominance. As an over-aged player, he was expected to be among the very best in the league, but his performance has been outstanding nonetheless. Interestingly for his size, Barre-Boulet isn’t afraid to engage physically or forecheck against bigger players. His 63 penalty minutes on the year actually lead the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, just another category he tops on the squad. Turning 21 in a few months, he’s still a long-shot for the NHL during his professional career, but is probably in the best system possible for a player of his size.