With just a few weeks remaining until the start of training camp, there is one player who could be a surprise addition to the St. Louis Blues roster when they kick off the 2022-23 season on October 15, against the Columbus Blue Jackets. That player is Zachary Bolduc.
Bolduc, a native of Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada, was the Blues’ first-round selection (17th overall) in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft and currently plays for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Over the past two seasons in the QMJHL, Bolduc has averaged a point per game pace, and this past season, tied for second place in all of junior hockey with 55 goals and including playoffs, Bolduc had 63 goals in 77 games played last season.
Bolduc also had five hat tricks in 2021-22, an impressive feat for a player at any level.
Following the Remparts’ season, Bolduc was assigned to the Springfield Thunderbirds, the Blues American Hockey League affiliate, but he never got the chance to take the ice in a game for the Thunderbirds as in warmups the night he was supposed to make his pro debut, Bolduc suffered a minor injury.
After his injury, Bolduc returned to Quebec to spend time in the gym getting bigger and stronger in hopes of cracking the Blues roster out of camp in 2022-23.
Bolduc is still junior eligible at just 19 years old but his goal is to stick with the Blues. He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that:
“I think I’m able to compete with the best guys in the world. “But at the end of the day, it’s not me that is making the decision. So I’m gonna do everything that I can to play in the NHL this year. “I know that I’m young. But I know what I can do also.”
So when opening night comes, Bolduc could potentially become another Colton Parayko, a player who wasn’t expected to make the team out of camp but did, to the surprise of everyone, and never looked back.