UND hockey picks up commitment from forward Sacha Boisvert
Boisvert was a first-round pick in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but has instead decided to play college.
GRAND FORKS — Sacha Boisvert was about 11 years old when his Quebec-based hockey team made a trip to Boston.
On that trip, they stopped at Providence College in Rhode Island because his coach knew some people at the school.
"I saw a game," Boisvert said, "and I knew right away college hockey is where I want to play. I really liked college hockey."
Even though the 6-foot-1, 165-pound forward was a first-round pick in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft, Boisvert (pronounced boy - vair) stuck with his dream of playing in the NCAA.
On Wednesday, that dream became another step closer to reality as he verbally committed to UND — a program he discovered by watching clips of Brock Boeser, Drake Caggiula and Jonathan Toews on YouTube.
"I never really thought I'd have a chance to play for North Dakota," Boisvert said. "When they offered me, I couldn't pass on the chance. I didn't think about it. Right away, I said, 'I want to play for North Dakota.'
"It's a dream to play for North Dakota. Everyone who would have the opportunity to play there would play there."
Monday marked the first day that prospects headed into their junior year of high school could receive scholarship offers and make verbal commitments. Boisvert is the first to commit to UND.
Hi everyone. The Herald had Sacha Boisvert on our list of 20 prospects to watch as the junior recruiting period opened Monday. Who else is on our list of players to watch? Check it out here!
The Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, native moved to Rhode Island two years ago to play for Mount St. Charles Academy. At that time, the only English words he knew were "yes" and "no."
Not only did the native French speaker quickly become fluent in English, he also developed into a dominant force on the ice. He tallied 94 points in 56 games last season for Mount St. Charles' 15U team.
In January, he signed a tender to play for the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the United States Hockey League.
"Sacha’s skating and vision put him on another level because he creates so much offense off the rush and he is incredibly difficult to defend against," Muskegon general manager Jim McGroarty said. "The first time I saw Sacha play, his physicality is what caught my eye because he has the ability to make players around him better and is overall a complete player."
At Mount St. Charles, he played for coach Scott Gainey.
"I like how he competes every day, even in practice, making himself and everyone around him better," Gainey said. "He’s got all of the intangibles. The skillset is there and he’s a complete package."
Mount St. Charles co-director of hockey operations Matt Plante has seen several of his former players head to UND, including Shane Pinto and incoming freshman Owen McLaughlin.
"I think he's going to be a power forward," Plante said of Boisvert. "He's got some skill. He's mean. He's kind of got everything you want in terms of a pro prospect. His frame is good. He's a little slight, obviously. He has a lot of room to add some size and strength to his body. I think that's going to come over time. He has a terrific work ethic."
Plante thinks Boisvert's blend of skill and physicality will fit well in Grand Forks.
"It's a great fit for him because Brad (Berry) and that staff do a great job," Plante said. "They're a very nurturing coaching staff. They allow these guys to be themselves and work with them to develop their games. I think they appreciate what Sacha brings to the table. I think they like his meanness. That's a differentiating quality. There's a nastiness to his game. To me, that's one of the reasons I think he'll get to pro hockey."
UND doesn't often recruit players from Eastern Canada. In fact, according to the program's media guide, Boisvert is set to be the first player from Quebec to ever play at UND.
Boisvert has yet to visit Grand Forks. He did a Zoom tour of the facilities.
"I've seen everything online and I've talked to (Berry)," Boisvert said. "I can't go wrong with this choice."
The next step for Boisvert is Muskegon, where he will be one of the youngest players in the USHL next season.
"I'm really excited," he said. "I love the coaching staff. I love the facilities. I love the boys. I can't wait to get started."
Size: 6-1, 165.
Hometown: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.
Team: Muskegon (USHL).
Earliest possible arrival at UND: 2024-25.