André Boudrias - Playing Career

Playing Career

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.

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