The Edmonton Oilers selected right-wing Xavier Bourgault with their first-round selection from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. The pick comes after the team traded the 19th overall pick to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for the 22nd overall pick and a late third-rounder.
Bourgault hails from L’lslet, Quebec, and has been playing his junior career with the Shawinigan Cataractes of QMJHL. He has put up some impressive totals during his three seasons in the ‘Q’ tallying 131 points in 154 games including 70pts in 2019/20 and 40pts in a 29 game season this past year.
The scouting report hails Bourgault as a hard-working offensive player that possesses a wicked shot and keen playmaking ability. His work ethic in the o-zone helps him get the opportunities to score and he wins more battles than he loses.
There are question marks around the defensive side of the puck. He tends to be a bit over-aggressive and this can cause him to take sloppy penalties and fall out of position. To combat these faults, it is likely that Bourgault will take a bit longer to develop into that top-six forward.
The initial trade down was very disappointing in the immediate aftermath. I thought taking Jesper Wallstedt was a slam-dunk considering how highly he was rated as a goaltender. However, I got word from one of my sources that there were a few character concerns about the Swedish goaltender and that might have been the reason he fell as much as he did.
Bourgault seems like a bit of a project at first glance. His offensive game is very impressive but he will need to develop into a more complete player before we start penciling him into the lineup.
It is likely that this was the guy that Holland was targetting all along so to be able to move down and recoup a third is a pretty alright move. I believe Bourgault will spend next season in the QMJHL and we can expect him to arrive in Bakersfield in time for the 2022/23 season.