The 2018 NHL Entry Draft took place in Dallas, Texas on June 22nd and 23rd, 2018. Amongst those to hear their names called over the two days were Xavier Bernard by the New Jersey Devils, Shawn Boudrias by the Minnesota Wild & Alexis Gravel by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Xavier Bernard – New Jersey Devils
The 6-foot-3, 200 pound defenseman from Quebec is known for his skating – speed, agility, pivots, backwards, forwards. The 18-year-old is always moving his feet, even without the puck. He’s got a good shot, moves the puck well, often makes the safe play and has been gaining in confidence in his decision making and that’s translated into more offensive contributions with 11 goals and 24 assists for 35 points in 66 games for Drummondville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past year.
“He seems like a very dedicated player and has shown that he wants to be a good player and has made efforts to improve his game,” Castron said. “We’re excited to watch him continue to develop and help him along the way because he has all the tools to turn into a real good two-way player for us.”
Shawn Boudrias – Minnesota Wild
Combining size with scoring prowess, Boudrias has been a force with Gatineau in his most recent season. Scoring 60 points in 60 games — including 28 goals — he led the Olympiques across the board. He also ended the year with 51 penalty minutes.
In a year during which Gatineau finished the regular season in eleventh place and won a single playoff game, Boudrias was a bright spot in the midst of a career-best season. Effective on the power play, he scored 12 goals on the man-advantage during the 2017-18 season, beating his previous season high of four powerplay markers by a massive margin.
Boudrias also played in the 2015-16 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge as a member of Canada’s Red team, scoring two points in six games.
Brent Flahr, Wild senior vice president of hockey operations: “Boudrias is a big power forward with a quality shot. He plays a north-south game and likes to be around the net.”
Alexis Gravel – Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks liked enough of Gravel’s tools to make him one of their selections on draft weekend. The netminder is currently playing for the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL, where he closed out 2017-18 with a 3.38 goals-against average and .890 save percentage in 39 appearances.
Gravel was 20-11-5 in his starts and went 4-4 in eight playoff games for next year’s Memorial Cup hosts.
“He’s going to have a great situation, said Blackhawks Vice President of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley. “They’re going to host the Memorial Cup next year, so we’re expecting a big year out of him. He’s been a good goaltender. This year, we saw him play some really good games. He’s in a good spot.”