June 1, 1951 |
Warroad, MN, USA
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Detroit Red Wings
Minnesota North Stars
Minnesota Fighting Saints
Kansas City Scouts
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||16th overall, 1971
Detroit Red Wings
Henry Charles Boucha (born June 1, 1951) is a retired American professional ice hockey centerman who played 247 games over 6 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota North Stars, Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies whose career was cut short by eye injury. His distant cousin Gary Sargent and his second cousin T. J. Oshie also played in the NHL.
|Olympic medal record|
|Men's ice hockey|
|Silver||1972 Sapporo||Ice Hockey|
A full-blooded Ojibwa (Chippewa) native American, Boucha played high school hockey for Warroad High School leading his team to the 1969 state tournament where he was injured during a 5–4 overtime loss to Edina. He is considered to be one of the best players to ever play Minnesota high school hockey.
While serving in the US Army, Boucha joined the United States national ice hockey team on a full-time basis in 1970 as the US won the "Pool B" qualification tournament. He participated in the 1971 Ice Hockey World Championships in Bern, Switzerland where he scored seven goals in ten games for Team USA. Boucha was also one of the biggest stars of the 1972 United States Olympic hockey team that received the silver medal.
Boucha was drafted in the 2nd Round, 16th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft (he was also drafted first overall by the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the rival World Hockey Association but chose not to defect to the WHA). Boucha scored a goal in his first NHL game after the Olympics and was voted Detroit rookie of the year in his first full NHL season. The Red Wings sent him to the Minnesota North Stars in exchange for Danny Grant in 1974. Boucha was enjoying a solid year in his home state when he was involved in a highly publicized stick incident with Dave Forbes of the Boston Bruins in 1975 which left him with a cracked bone around his eye and blurred vision. The incident resulted in a court case as the State of Minnesota attempted to charge the Boston player with assault.
Boucha never really recovered from the injury. He attempted a comeback with the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA in 1975–76 and then returned to the NHL as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies in later 1976 where he retired from professional hockey after only nine games.
- Detroit Red Wings rookie of the year, 1972–73
- Inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.
- Ice hockey world championships, Pool B, 1970 (first, won promotion to Pool A)
- Ice hockey world championships, Pool A, 1971 (sixth place)
- Olympic tournament, 1972 (second place)
Boucha (in the days before mandatory helmets) wore a headband. His nickname was "the Chief".