After a flurry of bigger-name trades today in the QMJHL, a smaller deal has sent Maple Leafs goalie prospect Zachary Bouthillier to the Saint John Sea Dogs.
The return is two draft picks, bu this report doesn’t note in what year. Bouthillier was drafted last summer in the seventh round, 209th overall.
This deal comes on the heels of another goalie trade yesterday:
The Sea Dogs sent their starter off to greener pastures for a first-round pick in 2020. That left them with the undrafted 20-year-old Russian Mikhail Denisov, who has played in 10 games, and Tommy Da Silva, a 17-year-old Canadian, who has played in 9 games.
Denisov, who has played in North America for all of his teenage years, looks the more promising of the two from a very cursory look at his save percentage even if his age argues the opposite, but he only arrived on the team in trade this season.
No one on the Sea Dogs shows a GAA that isn’t terrifying. The Sea Dogs just aren’t very good this season, after going all-in for a championship in 2017. A glance at the standings shows them in second last place in the league with eight wins and 29 losses. They have the worst goals against in the Q.
Zach, this is one of those opportunities people talk about, but it just might be hard to see it as a good one right now.
Bouthillier will come into this team at 19, the NHL draft behind him, a tour of the Leafs rookie tournament and summer development camps in the bag, and he gets to be the man of the crease.
He made 22 starts in Chicoutimi this season, and his save percentage of .889 is higher than Alex D’Orio’s was on the Sea Dogs, but I’m not sure any goalie should be expected to have good stats on the Dogs this year. The challenge for Bouthillier is to see this as an opportunity and to make the most of it.
Good luck to Zach Bouthillier, and we promise to remember that GAA is a team stat.