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Boucher Next to Break Commitment; Signs with Sarnia

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Former Michigan State recruit Reid Boucher is the most recent college committed player to break his commitment by signing with an OHL team. Rather than playing his senior year of high school with Youngstown of the USHL before heading to Michigan State, Boucher will suit up for the Sarnia Sting.

Boucher is an interesting situation. He was always considered a bit of a flight risk simply because his late birthdate meant he'd have to spend a year in the USHL after aging out of the NTDP. But he grew up just 20 miles outside of East Lansing, and at the NHL Draft, seemed pretty intent on going to Michigan State. But in the end, Sarnia seems to have a done good job making their pitch, and that extra year in the USHL ended up being a deal-breaker.

Of course, what the Sting may have sold to Boucher, and what is reality are two completely different stories. Boucher will definitely get the opportunity to play for a very good team, and competing against younger competition, he will likely have a very good year. But even with a strong season that really raised his draft stock, Boucher was still only a fourth round draft pick this summer. A quick search through hockeydb's draft archives shows that the majority of fourth round draft picks, whether they play in the NCAA, CHL, or Mexico, are going to need a career beyond hockey(and of those that became NHL regulars, the ratio of CHL players to NCAA players isn't that significant). A college education would probably be helpful for that, and the odds of Boucher being in the roughly one-third of CHL players that actually collect on their post-grad scholarship package seems pretty slim. Boucher might be good enough to beat the odds, but it's questionable at best if he's really helped his odds here, or if he has just limited his future options.