Dana Point’s Boutoussov racking up points for NCDC’s Kings
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From Los Angeles’ South Shore to Boston’s South Shore, Michael Boutoussov’s 3,000-plus mile move across the continent is paying massive dividends.
A 1999-born newcomer for the South Shore Kings of the USPHL’s National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC), Boutoussov has been clutch with three goals and 10 points in his first 10 games.
“It’s going so far so good,” said the Dana Point native. “We’re just trying to build chemistry throughout the year and progress as we go on. The junior hockey experience here is great. There are a lot of schools on the East Coast, and it’s great exposure.”
Through the first 10 games, he’s never gone more than one game without a point, missing the scoresheet on only three occasions. He had a goal and four assists in his first four October games for the Kings, who were 4-5-1-0 through Oct. 12.
“‘Bouts’ is a massive asset to our team with his speed and decision-making. He has a great shot with a sneaky, fast release,” said Kings head coach Drew Omicioli. “I see Michael being an impact player at whatever level he plays because of his abilities and tenaciousness. He plays a fearless style and enjoys the physicality. It’s a joy to coach a player like ‘Bouts.’”
While Los Angeles has its own Kings, it was actually the other team in the immediate vicinity – the Anaheim Ducks – that the Boutoussov family became drawn to.
“My father came here from Russia and he saw the (former) Mighty Ducks and got into hockey,” said Boutoussov. “He got my older brother on skates, then my younger brother, then me.”
He was an impressionable young Mite player at the age of eight when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup.
“It was an amazing run,” he recalled.
Years later, he would find himself in the orange and black of the Ducks’ new colors, playing many years with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks. After posting 18 points in 15 Tier 1 Elite Hockey League games in 2015-16 with the Ducks’ 15U team, he posted 27 more in 32 contests with their 18U squad in 2016-17.
“It was a great organization – we made it to Nationals,” said Boutoussov, who scored five points in three Tier 1 Nationals games in April 2017. “I loved it there.”
Over the next two seasons, Boutoussov moved away from the sun and surf of Dana Point for the wide-open spaces of the Canadian prairie provinces, playing in the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba junior leagues.
“It was good, gritty hockey, and they compete very hard,” noted Boutoussov. “I played in small towns, so it was fun to get some fans up there. I have nothing bad to say about it there, but I’m glad I came here.”
As much as he is enjoying the East Coast hockey scene, he certainly loves his hometown.
“I live a minute or two from the beach. It’s just an unbelievable town. I love where I live,” said Boutoussov. “It’s not a big hockey community. Where I played, everyone had to come 30 minutes to two hours for practice.”
For Christmas break, he’ll be able to put away his jacket and break out the shorts and flip-flops and stroll on down to the beach. Given what he’s done already, it’ll surely be a well-deserved rest.
— Joshua Boyd/USPHL.com
(Nov. 4, 2019)