Oilers choose Xavier Bourgault with 22nd pick
The Edmonton Oilers selected forward Xavier Bourgault with the 22nd overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Weight: 172 lbs
Club: Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
(Stats source: EliteProspects.com)
Bourgault's third QMJHL season was a shortened one due to the pandemic, but he still managed to impress. His 1.38 point-per-game rate in 2020-21 followed a strong 2019-20 campaign in which he racked up 33 goals and 38 assists over 63 contests.
The Quebec native's October 2002 birthday allowed him to play three junior campaigns before being drafted, and he collected a combined 131 points over 154 regular-season games in that span.
Bourgault was projected by most experts as a mid-to-late first-round pick.
NHL Central Scouting slotted him in 13th among North American skaters on its final rankings.
What they're saying
"Bourgault stands out with the puck on his stick," wrote The Athletic's Corey Pronman. "He's confident, attempting to make difficult dekes and passes and executing at a solid frequency."
"I wouldn't describe Bourgault as a physical player or the first guy over the boards on the penalty kill, but he backchecks well enough and creates turnovers with his hustle," Pronman added. "In a sentence, Bourgault projects as a middle-six NHL forward, likely on the wing."
"(Bourgault is) an excellent finisher who works best in the offensive zone," Sportsnet's Sam Cosentino wrote. "(He's) an underrated playmaker, too."
"(His) game doesn't leap off the ice at you but he's dangerous in a variety of ways, with a deceptive release that comes off of his blade early in his shooting motion and (a) stance to surprise goalies ... and good playmaking instincts inside the offensive zone," wrote The Athletic's Scott Wheeler, who viewed Bourgault as a future middle-six forward.