Edmonton Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard has been returned to the London Knights after 7 games with the big club. Bouchard was able to put home his first NHL goal during that span. His return to junior will make him the oldest player in Canadian Hockey League history at 37 years old officially surpassing Aaron Ekblad who played with the Barrie Colts until finding a full time role with the Panthers at 36.
London general manager Rob Simpson was thrilled to learn his top defenceman would be returning, calling Bouchard a “great leader in our room, a guy that can really be a father figure to these young men” We asked Simpson if his relationship with Bouchard extended past the rink, “Absolutely, Evan and his wife spend a lot of time here with us. Our kids go to the same elementary school. We are very close.”. Simpson went on to say that “We try to keep our work and personal relationships separate, Evan is a real professional so usually that’s not an issue.”.
Evan, having turned 37 earlier this month hopes to keep the NHL dream alive. “With advances in modern medicine I feel I could continue to play until 1 maybe 2 hundred.” His ability to dominate the junior game is certainty not in question. Having racked up 87 points in 67 games for London last season. This quote from an anonymous teammate nicely sums up Bouchards play in the OHL, “He absolutely dummies kids out there. We call him Papa Bouch around the league. He just uses his man strength to throw 17, 18, and 19 year old kids around, in any other setting he would probably be charged with assault.”.
For the Oilers this move will mean that all 3 years remain on Bouchards entry level deal.
Defenseman Kevin Gravel was called up from Bakersfield to fill the gap left on the blueline.