June 23: Boucher has officially signed with Avangard Omsk, the KHL team announced. Dhaliwal reports (via Twitter) that the deal is worth $719K which is a little higher than the $700K minimum salary in the NHL if he was to stay in North America on a one-way contract. The deal also contains $143K in bonuses if he finishes in the top three in league scoring.
June 18: Canucks winger Reid Boucher has been a prominent scorer in the AHL over the past few years but it hasn’t materialized into much time with Vancouver. As a result, it appears he will be trying something different for next season as Rick Dhaliwal of TSN 1040 and The Athletic reports (Twitter link) that Boucher is nearing a one-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the KHL.
This season, the 26-year-old was second in the AHL in goals (33) and points (67) in just 53 games; his 1.26 points per game average was tops among qualified players. Despite that, he didn’t get a sniff of NHL action for the first time in his seven-year professional career so Boucher looking for a change of scenery is understandable.
GM Jim Benning confirmed to Postmedia’s Ben Kuzma (Twitter link) that Vancouver is willing to let Boucher out of his deal now. That’s particularly notable as it suggests that it’s unlikely that he will be available to the Canucks for their play-in series against Minnesota and any potential postseason action after that. The KHL is hoping to open up in September and if Boucher was to stay with Vancouver for the playoffs, he could potentially be arriving late.
Vancouver can tender Boucher a qualifying offer this offseason to retain his rights but considering he’s only a year away from being eligible for NHL unrestricted free agency anyway, they could simply opt to non-tender him instead. With 133 NHL games and 323 AHL contests under his belt, it’s possible that Boucher could make a run at trying to catch on with another NHL team in the 2021 offseason as a free agent.