Reid Boucher isn’t even at the top of his game. Imagine that.
The Utica Comets’ forward leads the American Hockey League in goals with 20 and is second in points with 39 through 28 games. He’s also on a 15-game point streak.
And he isn’t. Even. At. The. Top. Of. His. Game.
What Boucher is doing is nothing short of extraordinary, as his offensive prowess has been on full display all season long. But while it may look all perfect from the outside, the seventh-year pro remains his toughest critic.
“I don’t know if I’ve been that on these past couple (of games),” Boucher said. “But the team’s been playing really well in the last stretch here and it’s easy to get points when everyone is picking up everyone’s slack.
“I want to pick my game back up to the level that I want it to be. When that happens you usually get opportunities to put points up,” he added.
When Boucher is buzzing along, he might be the most dangerous player in the entire AHL. And while he’s coming off a career-high 62 points a season ago, he’s now in the race to capture something that has remained elusive in his career… the AHL scoring crown. Pretty special for a guy who’s priorities remain entirely team-centered.
“I don’t think (the scoring title) is a goal,” the veteran noted. “A goal for me is to help the team get into the playoffs and help the team get into first place in the North. Points are a result of that.
“I’m a big believer that it’s not as much as an individual effort to get points,” he said. “You get points based off your team going well and playing good hockey, so they help me out a lot with that.”
So where does a guy who has a league-best 1.39 points per game among players who have played in 10 or more games?
“Skating, all-around defensive game,” he said, without hesitation. “I’ve caught myself these last couple games not playing as well defensively as I wanted to. That should be an easy fix. Playing well in your d-zone is working hard and being in the right spots. That’s where I want to keep getting better.”
All-star bids, franchise records, team MVPs. As far as individual accolades go, nobody who’s worn a Utica Comets jersey has as accumulated them quite like Boucher. But the goal remains the same: the NHL.
“I want to be an NHL player,” he said. “It’s nice to have success down here, but I’m hungry to be a full-time guy in the NHL. I’m trying to do everything I can to get another opportunity up there.”
Boucher will look to improve his point streak to 16 games as the Comets round out 2019 against the Rochester Americans tomorrow night at 5 p.m.