Mavrik Bourque – 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

The Hockey Writers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Guide

Mavrik Bourque

2019-20 Team: Shawinigan Cataractes
Date of Birth: Jan. 08, 2002
Place of Birth: Plessisville, QC, Canada
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 165 pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: C
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible

Rankings

Mavrik Bourque has been Shawinigan’s go-to scorer since he entered the QMJHL as a 16-year-old. In his rookie season, he posted 54 points in 64 games and was the Cataractes’ first-line center. Bourque’s draft stock has been on a steady rise this season. Beginning as a “B” level prospect in the NHL Central Scouting preliminary rankings, he’s now considered a lock for the first round. A lackluster showing in the Ivan Hlinka tournament in August likely caused his lower ranking.

Related: THW’s 2020 Draft Guide

Since then, he’s exceeded expectations by posting 71 points in 49 games. Highlighted by a seven-point performance against Halifax on Feb. 1, Bourque’s 1.45 points-per-game average ranked ninth in the QMJHL and second among first-time draft-eligible players, behind only Alexis Lafrenière. He was exceptional at even strength, where he posted 45 points, despite that his season was cut short in early February due to a wrist injury.

Shawinigan Cataractes Mavrik Bourque
Mavrik Bourque of the Shawinigan Cataractes (Photo: Olivier Croteau)

Bourque is a highly-skilled offensive dynamo. He is an exceptional playmaker and excels as a point-producing forward. Thanks to a high hockey IQ, he keeps defenders guessing. He has soft hands and quick decision-making skills to be able to find a pass in any situation. Here’s an example of a beautiful back-door bullet pass on the power play.

Bourque is one of the most creative and slippery players in this year’s draft, whether he’s utilizing a no-look pass or beating defenders 1-on-1 with a fake. He isn’t the fastest skater, but he is quick on his edges and can create enough speed to beat defenders. He’s a big-game player who’s always looking to make a difference on the ice.

Despite being on the small side, at 5-foot-10, he can a hit and make a play. He’s strong on his skates and bounces off defenders due to his low center of gravity. He doesn’t play with a physical edge, but he isn’t afraid to drive hard to the net to complete a play.

Where Bourque’s game rises to another level is with his goal-scoring prowess and exceptional shot release. He has a quick, powerful and accurate shot that keeps defenders honest. He’s often given more space and has the ability to either create a pass or rip a shot past the goaltender. He produced over four shots per game this season which ranked second among first-year draft-eligible forwards, again behind Lafrenière.

There are some questions about whether Bourque will remain a center at the NHL level. His face-off percentage was exactly 50% this season, which isn’t ideal, especially in major junior. He needs to work on his defensive consistency if he wants to be a reliable two-way player. There are times when he commits and is a reliable back-checker, but there are other times when he gives up on the play; he can be lazy in the defensive zone. He’s a fine skater, but he needs to improve his acceleration and straight-line speed.

Other THW Draft Profiles:

Mavrik Bourque – NHL Draft Projection

Bourque seems to be a lock for a mid-to-late first-round pick. Andrew Forbes had him ranked as high as 15th, while NHL Central Scouting had him ranked as the 22nd best North American skater. Teams that are looking for a supremely talented offensive forward will have a nice option late in the first round. If they are willing to overlook his inconsistency than they’ll be for a nice surprise.

Quotables

“Every year, there’s a QMJHL player that doesn’t get enough love. I normally chalk it up to league bias, or size, or both. This year, Bourque is that player. It’s not like he has flown under the radar as a good player. NHL central scouting also has him ranked 24th among North American skaters, which pegs him as a second-round pick. That’s a position they have held since the beginning of the season when they graded him as a “B” prospect in their preliminary list, following a year in which he led all under-17 QMJHL player with 54 points in 64 (he finished second on his team in scoring as a rookie). And though I’m pretty confident he’s going to be a first-round pick at this point, it shouldn’t be a debate. He’s on the smaller end and he’s not the quickest player on the ice most of the time but Bourque is a one-man creator who uses little fakes and cuts to create for himself or give the puck to his teammates in open ice. He’s one of the craftier players in junior hockey right now and I see second-line upside if he can get stronger and more explosive through his stride,” – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic (from: “ Wheeler: Midseason ranking for the 2020 NHL Draft’s top 62 prospects ” – The Athletic – Feb. 19, 2020).

“A highly-skilled playmaker with soft hands with big-play proclivity, Bourque’s creativity and vision are at the forefront of his distinctive style. He utilizes a lot of trickery, such as passes of the no-look, behind-the-back, saucer, and bank variety. What also keeps opponents honest, however, is his goal-scoring ability and explosive shot release. Bourque is the focal point of Shawinigan’s power play, moreso now that Valentin Nussbaumer left for Switzerland, and he can orchestrate the possession from either the half-wall or the point. He is a strong, well-balanced skater who can dangle or toe-drag his way to an improved shooting angle,” – Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst.

“The type of player who sees the game a step ahead of most. A dual-threat offensive catalyst who thrives on the man-advantage. More strength and speed would be nice,” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects.

Strengths

  • Hockey IQ
  • Puck Control/Hands
  • Passing and vision
  • Shot

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Top Speed
  • Needs to Add Strength
  • Defensive Consistency

NHL Potential

Bourque has the offensive upside to be an effective top-six forward in the NHL. It’ll take him a few years, but I can see him on a team’s top six and playing on both the power play and penalty kill. He’ll need to improve his top speed and add physical strength to hit his ceiling.

“Bourque reminds me of Anthony Beauvillier a little, but I think the player who looks most like him in the NHL right now is Travis Konecny of the Philadelphia Flyers. Both are right-handed, both are 5-foot-10 and both weigh in about the same. They both seem to see the game in a similar way as well,”

Andre Ouellet – theqmjhl.ca.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 3/5, Reward – 4/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence – 8.5/10, Defence – 7/10

Awards/Achievements

Bourque won a Hlinka Gretzky Cup Silver Medal for Canada and posted one assist in five games played. He was also named forward of the month for November in the QMJHL this season.

Interviews/Links

Videos

YouTube player