The St. Louis Blues have agreed to a three-year, entry-level deal for first-round pick Zack Bolduc. The young forward was picked 17th overall in 2021 and is coming off a strong season with the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL.
Bolduc, 18, had 29 points in 27 games this season for Rimouski, following his 30-goal 2019-20 campaign that earned him the QMJHL Rookie of the Year honors. The former linemate of 2020 first-overall pick Alexis Lafreniere, Bolduc is a talented offensive player in his own right who has been compared to players like Sean Monahan in the past. His ability to play the middle of the ice is an important one, as true center prospects are difficult to acquire, especially ones with the upside that Bolduc represents.
That’s not to say he’ll be in the NHL right away. In fact, it seems very likely that the young forward will be back in the QMJHL this season to continue his development with the Oceanic and really try to dominate the league offensively. He’ll also be a candidate for Team Canada at the World Juniors and was recently at the team’s summer camp.
If he does return to junior, Bolduc’s contract will slide forward, meaning the first year of his three-year deal will not be burned in 2021-22. That could actually happen again is 2022-23 should he go back to the QMJHL once again, meaning this contract gives the team plenty of control.