Former NHLer Reid Boucher signs in KHL despite sexual assault charges

Boucher, a former New Jersey Devils draft pick, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a minor in 2011. (Getty Images)
Boucher, a former New Jersey Devils draft pick, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a minor in 2011. (Getty Images)

Disgraced former NHL player Reid Boucher has found himself another contract in the Kontinental Hockey League, this time with one of his former clubs, Avangard Omsk.

On Monday, Avangard announced it’s signed Boucher to a one-year contract that’ll begin in the 2022-23 season.

Following seven professional seasons in North America, Boucher originally signed with Avangard in 2020, posting 24 goals and 48 points in 51 games. The 28-year-old will now return to his former stomping grounds.

Boucher's signing has understandably drawn plenty of criticism after his previous contract with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl was terminated in February. That occurred after he was sentenced in January for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old in 2011.

Boucher was sentenced to four years of probation and a one-year suspended sentence if he completed the probation period without any incidents. He pled guilty to third-degree criminal sexual assault against a minor at the time.

Avangard general manager Alexei Volkov released a statement shortly after, explaining his decision to bring back Boucher.

"The decision regarding Boucher was not an easy one," said Volkov. "We understand the pressure that was put on him at the end of last season, both here in Russia and his homeland.

"We understand Boucher made a mistake," Volkov continued. "Plus, he was underage at the time. It is very important what conclusions a person draws from his mistakes, how he changed. Reid fully realized his guilt. A lot of time has passed since then, and the club decided to give Reid a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance."

Boucher issued his own response via video, saying “these last couple of months have been tough for myself and my family.” Adding that “they’re now trying to move forward.”

The 5’11” skater concluded by stating he’s “looking forward to showing the fans my appreciation for their support.”

In January, the OHL's Sarnia Sting erased Boucher’s name from their record books after he spent two seasons with their organization from 2011-13. Afterwards, two additional women came forward to The Athletic’s Katie Strang, alleging he attempted to solicit explicit photos from them when he was 21 years old and they were 15 and 17, respectively.

Despite these claims, Boucher has yet to face any further legal action from either of the two women.

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