Bourque to skip UNH, head to QMJHL

Like his father, the youngest Bourque will play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Ryan Bourque, a Boxford native and son of Bruins legend and NHL Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, will forgo a verbal commitment to the University of New Hampshire to suit up for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League next season.

Bourque, 18, was Quebec’s seventh-round choice in last year’s junior draft. He was ranked 61st among North American skaters in this year’s NHL Central Scouting midseason rankings. He will have up to three years of junior eligibility. The Remparts’ owner, general manager and coach is NHL Hall of Famer Patrick Roy, a former teammate of Ray Bourque’s with the Colorado Avalanche.

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US Under-18 team coach Ron Rolston said Bourque is an elite player in his age group who will be productive at the next level.

“He does everything for us, and he provides leadership,” said Rolston. “He’ll be a valuable asset to Quebec.”

A 5-foot-8, 165-pound left wing, Bourque played the last two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program. He had 19 goals and 24 assists in 47 games this year, second on the Under-18 team. He will play for the US in the Under-18 World Championships, which begin April 9.

Ray Bourque played three seasons for the now-defunct Sorel (later Verdun) Eperviers, or Blackhawks, of the QMJHL.

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