Edmonton Oilers signal Xavier Bourgault
The Edmonton Oilers have inked a top prospect, signing Xavier Bourgault to a three-year entry-level contract. The deal begins in 2022-23 and Bourgault will remain with the Shawinigan Cataractes for the rest of his season in the QMJHL.
Selected 22nd overall in 2021, Bourgault has shown once again why he was regarded as such an interesting NHL prospect, recording 26 goals and 51 points in 31 games for Shawinigan this season. While he has missed multiple chunks of the season with injuries–including a freak eye injury in November–he’s back on the ice now and has scored in each of his last four contests.
Shawinigan is in a good position in the standings and poised to fight for the QMJHL championship, though it certainly would be interesting to see Bourgault join the Bakersfield Condors at some point before the end of the season. The 19-year-old forward won’t be considered for the Oilers, but Bakersfield could add him on a tryout contract for their own championship run, after winning the Pacific tournament last year (the Calder Cup was not awarded in 2021).
If you ask his coach, Bourgault is already ready for the professional lifestyle, even if he has yet to suit up for the Oilers organization. Last month, Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic wrote about the young forward, and how Shawinigan general manager Martin Mondou has always been impressed with his training. If “everything he does is in the sense to be playing for the Oilers one day” as Mondou put it, signing this contract is a big step toward that goal.
Given he will turn 20 in October, Bourgault will be eligible to play full-time for the Condors next season–that is if he doesn’t land an NHL role out of camp.
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