Mavrik Bourque doesn’t want to be good enough to play in the NHL. He wants to be good enough to play in the NHL for at least 10 years.
The Dallas Stars chose the highly skilled playmaking center from the Shawinigan Cataractes as their first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. And Stars fans should find it affirming that he’s already planning out a path to a top-six role.
Chalk it up to the work ethic Bourque picked up on his family’s small dairy farm in Plessisville, Québec. Joshua Kloke elaborates in a new piece for The Athletic:
“If you don’t go to the barn in the morning to milk your cows, you won’t have a profit,” Bourque said in 2019. “In hockey, the same thing happens if you don’t go to the gym to train.”
So, when Bourque was drafted third overall by the [Cataractes] in the 2018 QMJHL draft, he was ready to put in the work to elevate his game. He is a player who has always wanted more: Ice time, responsibility, goals and to be depended on far more than he had previously.
“At 16, he wanted to be that guy who would play under pressure. He could adapt to any situation,” said former Cataractes head coach Daniel Renaud, Bourque’s first QMJHL coach.
For Stars fans, Bourque’s best feature may be that undefinable quality of playmaking intelligence that marks the most promising prospects:
“Hockey IQ” has become a catch-all term, but it’s still one of the more valuable commodities a young player can possess, especially at a young age.
Offensively, Renaud always felt confident in the way Bourque managed the puck.
“He has a lot of poise. He’s going to draw two or three defenders to him and he’s going to find the open guy,” said Renaud.
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
There’s never too much info on prospective Stars, so don’t miss Matthew DeFranks’ analysis of the pick.
New Mav in Dallas: Stars select Mavrik Bourque in NHL draft, a far from finished product with a high hockey IQ.— SportsDay Stars (@dmn_stars) October 7, 2020
See what director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell had to say about the Stars' first-round pick.@MDeFranks | #GoStars https://t.co/JD2aJMpwP3
Here’s what the remote celebration looked like when the Stars called his name.
Steven Ellis and Ryan Kennedy offer their own brief on the player with “one of the coolest names in the draft.”
Dallas selects Mavrik Bourque.— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) October 7, 2020
The Shawinigan standout is a good skater with a sweet one-timer and he plays the game with a ton of skill. pic.twitter.com/3BL5OMSr6w
Meanwhile, it looks as if Mattias Janmark will be moving on. What will the Stars’ forward corps look like next season?
Not much much of a surprise, but been told Mattias Janmark will be going to free agency on Friday and hit open market.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) October 6, 2020
Around The Leagues
Alexis Lafrenière is officially first overall and officially a New York Rangers prospect, and the Big Apple is excited, I think.
It’s never too early to start talking about NHL Draft winners and losers, and Dallas comes out on the good end in this analysis.
My first round #NHLDraft analysis:— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) October 7, 2020
- Pick-by-pick evaluations totalling 5,500+ words
- Winners and losers, ranked from 1-25 (six teams didn’t pick)
- Movement relative to my board
Here it is (for $1 a month!): https://t.co/1Csm1JVkTf
The Arizona Coyotes are bringing a beloved logo back to their home ice. Can the Kachina as full-time home sweater be far behind?
You a̶s̶k̶e̶d̶, begged.— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) October 6, 2020
The iconic crescent moon will return to center ice. pic.twitter.com/U7I6tgUrKt
Difficult news for the Washington Capitals: Defender Michal Kempny has sustained another season-canceling injury.
Washington Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny underwent a successful surgery to repair an Achilles tendon. Kempny sustained his injury while training in Czech Republic. Based on the nature of this injury, Kempny is expected to miss 6-8 months.— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) October 6, 2020
So Brenden Dillon won’t be going to free agency after all. The former Stars blueliner has re-signed and is poised to take a top-pair role.
Speaking of the Caps – If they get Henrik Lundqvist a Stanley Cup, will the resulting chain reaction destroy the Atlantic Seaboard?
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan on Henrik Lundqvist: "We're looking for a backup veteran goaltender. He's a really solid candidate for us."— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) October 7, 2020
“He has earned the right to do whatever he wants.” Pandemic-related uncertainty led to former Star Matt Niskanen’s sudden, shocking early retirement from the Philadelphia Flyers.
It wasn't that Matt Niskanen didn't want to play hockey anymore, it was the prospect of preparing for another NHL season that is shrouded in uncertainty that caused him to walk away, said his agent.@THNKenCampbell has more:https://t.co/qu9szJJx5v— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) October 5, 2020