Thursday, January 7, 2021

Harvey, Boucher Turn Pro

The University of New Brunswick Reds have lost two key pieces to the professional ranks this week as goaltender Samuel Harvey and forward Matthew Boucher have inked AHL and ECHL contracts, respectively. 

According to the Daily Gleaner's (subscription required) Bill Hunt, Harvey has signed a tryout contract with the San Jose Barracuda, the AHL affiliate of the Sharks, where he is expected to compete for their backup role. 

The former Memorial Cup-winning netminder will leave UNB after a short, but spectacular, stay. After completing some of his university courses while in junior, the plan all along for Harvey was to stay with the Reds for two seasons to complete his degree before moving on to the professional ranks. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic meant Harvey only got to play one - unfinished - season in the red and black, posting a 14-2 regular season record with a 1.87 GAA and a 4-1 postseason record with a 1.21 record, leading the Reds to another AUS championship. Their game three victory over Acadia in the AUS Final proved to be the last game of the season as the season was cancelled the night before their opening game at the University Cup. 

Meanwhile, it was announced today that Boucher has signed with the ECHL's Utah Grizzlies. The consistent forward spent two seasons at UNB, putting up over a point per game each year. He accumulated a total of 61 points (31 goals, 30 assists) in 57 regular season games before adding another nine points in as many playoff games. He had three assists in three games at the 2019 University Cup, helping UNB to a national championship.

The loss of Harvey and Boucher isn't necessarily surprising given that pro leagues are starting up again soon and there is an increasing unlikelihood we will see any AUS competition in the near future. However, their departures are a big blow to a UNB roster that had already lost a number of key contributors from last season's squad. 

We may not know when we will the see the Reds back in action, but one thing is for certain - the team that takes the ice will be vastly different looking from the one we last saw raising the AUS trophy in March.