2021-22 Team: Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: Apr. 27, 2004
Place of Birth: Montreal, QC
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 176 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
If you’re looking for a defenseman who can give you steady, reliable play at both ends of the ice, that’s what you’ll get from Angus Booth. The younger brother of Callum Booth, a netminder who was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2015 and is currently playing in the ECHL, Angus is a solid two-way defenseman who has taken some serious strides considering where he came from and where his career started.
Though he’s spent his entire junior career playing for the Shawinigan Cataractes, Booth was originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 QMJHL Draft by the Charlottetown Islanders. He only put up five points in 38 AAA games in his draft year, which should speak volumes about the rest of his game. He ended up being traded to the Cataractes without playing a single game for Charlottetown and made his QMJHL debut for them when the league returned to action following the halted 2019-20 season due to COVID-19.
Booth’s offensive contributions remained minimal that year, only tallying three assists in 33 games, but this is far from uncommon for young players in their first junior season. If nothing else, it makes his jump to 23 points in 42 games in one year that much more impressive. Only one of those 23 points was a goal, so don’t expect him to contribute much on that front. However, his skating is fluid, and his grasp of the defensive zone is good enough to make him a valuable player offensively.
One thing I noticed about Booth is that he loves to creep up into the play when his team is on the power play. There were many instances where one of the forwards would take his spot on the back end, and he would station himself in the bumper area. Despite this, he was always quick to get back and assume his regular positioning once the puck was cleared.
He’s often relied on in high-leverage situations, both offensively and defensively, which, again, says a lot about how far his game has come in only two junior seasons. There’s only really one gripe in his game that I can point out, and that would be his consistency, at least offensively. Many times this season, he would get very hot offensively for a stretch of games and then go radio silent for another stretch. He had a very good December, tallying nine points in eight games, but his 2022 was quiet offensively, finishing with only two points in his last 10 games of the season. Granted, part of this could be attributed to the QMJHL league-wide pause due to COVID-19.
The only other fallback is that Booth doesn’t really have one area of his game that sticks out. He’s decent offensively but not enough to be seen as an offensive defenseman. He’s solid defensively, but not a true stay-at-home d-man. He can throw the body, but he’s not a hard-hitting blueliner. This might deter teams from drafting him in the earlier rounds, but at the age of 18, it’s something that Booth can establish later in his career with the right development.
Other THW Draft Profiles
NHL Draft Projection
Booth is ranked all over the map, as you may have noticed. I’ve seen him ranked as high as a third-round pick and as low as a sixth-round pick. I think it’s safe to say he will go somewhere in the fourth or fifth round. There’s definitely enough potential to keep him from going undrafted, but I don’t think he’s flashy enough to go higher than the third round. It all depends on the team that drafts him and how they plan to develop him.
“Booth is a highly responsible and agile defenseman that thrives on both ends of the ice. His main asset is clearly his incredible lateral mobility, in which he exhibits crisp stops and shifty edges. He likes to drag the puck while moving laterally along the blue line to force the defense to move and so to open himself some passing or shooting options.” -Joey Fortin-Boulay, FC Hockey (from 23347 – Shawinigan vs. Baie-Comeau (2/1/22) )
“Booth is a smart, trustworthy two-way defenseman who showed flashes of reliability on both sides of the puck, notably being deployed on the power play and penalty kill. He highlighted an outstanding focus and passion defensively, and was relied on in important end of the game situations.” -Andy Lehoux, FC Hockey (from 23127 – Sherbrooke vs. Shawinigan (1/7/22 )
“Booth’s defensive abilities have always been noteworthy and, given his smaller frame, he’s been working hard in the gym to get stronger and become harder to play against. He’s also taking extra time in practice to work on his shot, as a way to add some offense to his game.” -Melissa Boyd, QMJHL/The Hockey Writers
- Defensive Awareness
- Hockey IQ
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
Angus Booth has compared himself to Florida Panthers defenseman Mackenzie Weegar, and if the team that drafts him ends up with a Weegar-type, I’m sure they’ll be very happy. But even if he’s not a carbon copy, that style of game projects him as a steady, bottom-pairing defenseman who could possibly reach the top four if his offensive game improves. It all depends on the team he ends up with and who he plays with. Either way, he’s very versatile.
Risk 3/5, Reward 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense 5/10, Defense 7/10
Angus Booth Statistics
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Alex Hobson is a writer and a radio producer for 610 CKTB. He has been writing about sports since 2015 and has been with The Hockey Writers since October of 2020. He covers the Toronto Maple Leafs, World Juniors, and the NHL Entry Draft, and is also part of the Sticks in the 6ix Podcast, presented by THW. He also makes weekly appearances on THW’s Maple Leafs Lounge Roundtable. For interview requests or any other inquiries, you can follow Alex’s social media pages listed at the bottom of his articles like this one.