NHL Draft Prospect Profile #68: Troy Bourke
Drafted 72nd overall by the Colorado Avalanche.
It was a difficult season for Troy Bourke and the Prince George Cougars as their 24-46-0-2 record saw the team finish 2nd last in the entire league, and out of the playoffs. Quite simply the Cougars were a very young and rebuilding club. Bourke was the biggest bright spot on the team. His 56 points in 71 games may not seem that impressive, but when you consider he led the team by 17 points, you see that Bourke just didn’t have very many other offensive players to play with. Bourke would get the chance to show what he could do when playing with other gifted players at the 2012 IIHF Under 18 World Championships, where he would represent Canada and play on a line with Hunter Shinkaruk (eligible for the 2013 draft) and Kerby Rychel (eligible for the 2014 draft). As the elder statesman of the line, Bourke led by example and produced offence with his fellow youngsters. Bourke’s 7 points in 7 games was a big reason why Team Canada was able to leave the event with a bronze medal, instead of coming home empty handed.
Born Mar 30 1994 — Onoway, ALTA
Height 5.10 — Weight 170 — Shoots L
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Bourke isn’t blessed with blazing speed, as his top end speed is merely average. However the rest of his skating game is really strong. He has quick feet, a good first step and good accleration. He’s definitely a player who is more quick than fast, as he is able to pounce on loose pucks. He also has very good edgework and agility, allowing him to slip past defenders and into prime scoring areas. Bourke could stand to work on his balance and be a little stronger on his skates and on the puck, but this should come with added core strength and muscle mass.
Bourke is a slippery and elusive player in the offensive zone. Blessed with excellent hockey IQ, Bourke is able to find the soft spots in the defence and seems to always find an opening. He possesses a decent shot with good accuracy and good quickness on his release. Bourke is more playmaker than sniper however. He distributes the puck very well from his Left Wing position, threading passes and always seeming to find the open man. He is also a good stickhandler who is able to beat defencemen with his quick moves. He could stand to bulk up, as Bourke’s limited size causes him to loose board battles to bigger and stronger opponents. Bourke is not shy to be involved in those battles, so this area may improve with some added strength.
Defensively, Bourke’s game certainly needs some work. His positioning is a flaw, as Bourke has a real tendency to chase the puck and get himself caught out of position. He works hard, but he doesn’t always work smart and his defensive zone acumen will need some work. He also needs to continue to put on bulk in order to contain bigger opponents.
Bourke is a real boom or bust prospect. He could become a top 6 NHL player, however there is still plenty of work for him to do before that day will come, if at all. If he can bulk up and continue to progress we feel that he has the potential to be a player similar to Clarke MacArthur of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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