Islanders Samuel Bolduc: Victor Hedman-type says his QMJHL coach
Barry Trotz compared New York Islanders prospect Samuel Bolduc to John Carlson, but his former coach compares his style of play to Victor Hedman.
Samuel Bolduc is in his second training camp with the New York Islanders. The second-round pick from 2019 had an impressive run in juniors with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and then the Sherbrooke Phoenix later in the 19-20 season and now he’s impressing the Islanders coaching staff.
Barry Trotz told the media that he felt both Bolduc and Bode Wilde – a second-round pick in 2018 – are John Carlson-types. The very same Norris trophy finalist defenseman that developed under the tutelage of none other than Barry Trotz.
(And now, two days before the start of the season it’s possible that Bolduc even forces his way onto the team according to Trotz.)
I took that quote about being like Carlson to Bolduc’s former coach with the Armada, Bruce Richardson, and asked him what he saw from Bolduc (amongst other things).
When I told Richardson about Trotz’s comments he was a little surprised. To him, Bolduc isn’t exactly a Carlson type. He’s not saying that Trotz is wrong. If anyone knows who can be like John Carlson it’s certainly Barry Trotz, but to Richardson, Bolduc is a stronger two-way guy, like Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman.
"I didn’t see him like that honestly, Sam is a guy whose great over all 200-feet of the ice, he carries the puck well, but I think the difference is that Sam is a heck of an athlete. John Carlson has better puck skills, but Sam has one hell of a shot and he’s tough physically. I can see the resemblance a bit, but it’s not that close. Look, I’m not going to go against Barry. If I had to make a comparisson I wouldn’t have made that one. I see his type of play more like [Victor] Hedman."
Now, Richardson isn’t saying Samuel Bolduc will be just like Victor Hedman, but that his style of play is closer to Hedman’s two-way play than it is to Carlson whose more of an offense-first defenseman.
Which suits the Islanders style just fine. And it’s probably why the Isles are thinking about keeping Bolduc around for the start of the 2021 season. But if he’s Bridgeport bound, Richardson thinks that playing under Brent Thompson will be great for Bolduc.
"Brent Thompson was my captain. We know each other very well. Brent loves a hard and tough style of game which was the exat type of defender he was when he played. He was a one of the toughest competitors I’ve ever seen. He’s going to bring an element of that to Sam’s game. Playing a year under Brent will benefit Sam and help him be a more consistent player and to know what it’s like to be a professional."
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We’ll see what the Islanders plan on doing with him this year. It would surprise me if Bolduc follows the Islanders around this season either as the seventh d-man or on the taxi squad. With the way, the Islanders like to develop their players it makes all the sense in the world to have Bolduc playing under Thompson this year once the AHL starts on February 5.
Whatever the case may be, it seems like Bolduc has the potential to be one heck of a player for the New York Islanders.