Brian Boucher came on the line from Detroit on Saturday and you could hear a father’s pride in his voice.
The former Philadelphia Flyers goaltender noted he didn’t throw around compliments easily, but Boucher and his wife, Melissa, couldn’t have been more proud of the fact their son Tyler Boucher was taken No. 10 overall by the Ottawa Senators in Round 1 of the National Hockey League draft held virtually on Friday night.
The 44-year-old Boucher was taken No. 22 overall in the 1995 draft by the Flyers and had a 13-year career. Though Tyler is headed for Boston University this year, Brian is hopeful down the road he can have a lengthy NHL career.
“It’s one of those moments that it’s an accomplishment, but, at the same time, it’s a stop along the way in a long journey,” Boucher said. “In a lot of ways, the work that was put in to get to this point, is just that, it’s work. There’s a whole other level you’ve got to get to to get to the next level.
“I think he understands that, and we’ve talked about it. He gets that. Being at the U.S. national program, those kids train hard on and off the ice. They put a lot of work in. This isn’t a normal environment. You work as hard as you would at a college or professional program. The foundation has been laid down for him.”
This wasn’t an easy year for Tyler. He had a bout with COVID-19 as it ran through his team, and games were postponed or cancelled. He had two knee injuries and needed an arthroscopic procedure to repair one of of them. His father is proud of the way his son has battled.
“It was a very tough year with a lot of adversity, but I’m most proud of the fact he kept his head up the whole time and he kept working,” Boucher said. “That showed a lot of character to me. That’s something he should be really proud of. The games weren’t there this year like he probably wanted. Hopefully the injuries are out of the way now and he can go to BU in the fall and have a great year and enjoy himself.”
GARRIOCH: Tyler Boucher is tough as nails and that bodes well for the Ottawa Senators
The Senators close the door on the Erik Karlsson deal with the Sharks by taking Zack Ostapchuk at No. 39 overall
WHAT THEY GOT: A scouting report on players the Ottawa Senators selected in the 2021 NHL draft
SNAPSHOTS: Senators' chief scout Trent Mann says he deals in reality and he feels good about club's choices
It’s not easy for kids these days because they know where they stand going into the NHL draft and can’t avoid it.
“In your draft year, it’s hard to escape every article and every ranking that’s out there,” Boucher said. “When I was coming up, you had to subscribe to The Hockey News and get it once a week. The information is at your fingertips now and what these kids have to deal with is a lot of pressure on these guys. That’s hard.
“It’s not if adversity is going to come, it’s when and you’ve got to deal with it. He dealt with it and I thought he did a great job. I don’t hand out compliments to him easily. If you ever talk to him, he’ll tell you I was honest with him. I’m serious when I say he passed with flying colours when it comes to deal with the adversity. That’s what I’m most proud of. I hope he goes to BU, has a great year, enjoys the college experience and it’s all back to normal.”