Fort Wayne, IN --- Goaltender Nick Boucher has announced his retirement from professional hockey.
"Obviously leaving the game that you have played your whole life is difficult to do. I still believe I could play at a high level but do not think it is worth the potential long term effects that another year or more in net could have on my body," Boucher said. "I am leaving the game having last skated on Komet ice as a champion, a privilege that few players can say they have had at the end of their careers. I want to thank the Franke family and the Komet organization from coaches to trainers to office staff and everyone in between for making me feel like a part of the Komet family from the moment I rolled into town 6 years ago. I could have never guessed when I came here in fall 2007 that such success would follow and that I would learn to call Fort Wayne home."
The Victoria, British Columbia native began his pro career in 2003-04 splitting the season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL) and Wheeling (ECHL). After three seasons, Boucher played his fourth pro year in Europe where he led Tilburg to the 2007 Dutch Superliga Championship.
Boucher returned to the states and made his Fort Wayne debut in 2007-08 leading IHL goaltenders with a 2.32 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 31 games before topping league netminders in the playoffs with a 2.09 goals-against average en route to his first Fort Wayne championship.
In 2008-09 Boucher again led IHL goalies in the regular season (2.43 GAA, .919 Spct.) and playoffs (1.75 GAA, .938 Spct.) while also leading with 32 regular season wins and earning the IHL Goaltender of the Year Award and the Komets' Most Valuable Player of the Year honor.
In 2009-10 Boucher became the first Komet goaltender to capture three league championships with his third straight crown while leading IHL goalies in the playoffs for the third consecutive year with a 2.62 goals-against average.
"Nick was the catalyst for all three consecutive championships," Komet president Michael Franke said. "His mindset was to keep the puck out of the net, and in the playoffs that is exactly what he did. His place in Komet Hockey history is set. No one will ever backstop three straight championships again."
Boucher, 32, completed his playing career with the 2011-12 season, his ninth pro year and fifth straight season with the Fort Wayne Komets. He capped his professional playing career leading league goaltenders with a career high 32 wins and was named starting goaltender for the 2012 CHL All-Star Team. Boucher was honored by his fellow teammates with his second Most Valuable Player of the Year Award before matching the Komet record of 12 playoff wins by a goaltender, set by Pokey Reddick in 1993, while collecting his fourth Fort Wayne league championship.
"The four championships in Fort Wayne that Nick won is an accomplishment that legends are made of in hockey," Komet general manager David Franke said. "If it wasn't for Nick's high competitive nature and unwavering focus to win, these championships probably would not have happened. Nick is a Komet living legend and his accomplishments bear that out."
In addition to his four league championships with Fort Wayne, Boucher also scored two league regular season titles along the way (2007-08, 2008-09) and was named Goaltender of the Week 11 times and Goaltender of the Month on six occasions.
Boucher finishes his Fort Wayne career with overall (regular season and playoffs) totals of 162 wins, 77 losses, 18 overtime/shootout losses, 13 shutouts and 2.51 goals-against average in 265 appearances.
Boucher has announced his new career as a senior loan officer with Fort Wayne-based residential mortgage lender Ruoff Home Mortgage and will conduct business from its southwest Fort Wayne office located at 6920 Pointe Inverness Way, Suite 110. "I look forward to my new career at Ruoff Home Mortgage and seeing the Komets play from the seats of the Coliseum rather than from ice level," Boucher stated. "And finally, thank you to the fans. Without them Komet hockey would not exist to be as special as we all know it to be."
Nick Boucher's pro hockey career at a glance--
1999-00--Began his college career at Dartmouth College, NCAA. Named Dartmouth Rookie of the Year and team MVP for 1999-00.
2000--Drafted by Pittsburgh in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
2003--Graduated from Dartmouth as the all-time leader in wins (50) and save percentage (.907).
2004--Named to the 2004 ECHL All-Rookie Team.
2006-07--Led Tilburg to the 2007 Dutch Superliga Championship.
2007-08--Made his debut with the Komets posting his first Fort Wayne Championship. Led IHL goaltenders with 2.32 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Also led goalies in the playoffs with 2.09 goals-against average. Earned a career season high three league Goaltender of the Month Awards (Nov., Dec., Feb.).
2008-09-- Led IHL goaltenders for second straight year in regular season and playoffs in goals-against average and save percentage (Regular season: 2.43 goals-against average, .919 save percentage. Playoffs: 1.75 goals-against average, .938 save percentage) while leading with 32 wins. Awarded a career season high five Goaltender of the Week Awards including a stretch of receiving the honor each week for three straight weeks. Named IHL Goaltender of the Year. Named an IHL First Team All-Star and was voted by fellow teammates as the Komets' Most Valuable Player of the Year before capturing his second straight Komet league Championship.
2009-10-- Led IHL goaltenders for the third straight season in the playoffs with 2.62 goals-against-average en route to his third straight Komet league Championship.
2011-12--His ninth pro season, fifth straight season with Fort Wayne. Topped CHL goaltenders and matched his career high of 32 wins. Registered three shutouts for 2011-12 for a total of 11 Fort Wayne career shutouts and 21 as a pro. Named starting goaltender to the 2012 CHL All-Star Team. Named the Komets' Most Valuable Player of the Year as selected by the players. Collected his fourth Fort Wayne Championship (CHL Presidents' Cup) and tied Pokey Reddick for a Komet record of 12 playoff wins by a goaltender.
Fort Wayne career summary:
Regular season: GP 217 W 129 L 53 OTL/SOL 18 GAA 2.53 Shutouts 11
Playoffs: GP 48 W 33 L 13 GAA 2.46 Shutouts 2
FW totals: GP 265 W 162 L 66 OTL/SOL 18 GAA 2.51 Shutouts 13
Four league championships (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012) and two league regular season titles (IHL, 2007-08, 2008-09).
One Goaltender of the Year Award (IHL, 2008-09) and was named league Goaltender of the Week 11 times and Goaltender of the Month on six occasions.
Top goaltender in the league in goals-against average and save percentage three straight seasons (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10).
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