Q & A with ’00 Jacques Bouquot, Salisbury School F and Boston College commit
Neutral Zone caught up with 2000 forward Jacques Bouquot of Salisbury School (New England Prep) this week, fresh off his commitment to play college hockey at Boston College. The Connecticut-native, who played his youth hockey for Mid-Fairfield prior to heading to Salisbury, gave us some insight into his college selection process, what it means for him to play at Salisbury School, and also about being drafted recently into the USHL by Sioux City.
Neutral Zone had Bouquot ranked as an “A” player at USA Hockey’s Tier 1 U16 Nationals Tournament in California in early April, and we also listed him as the best player taken by Sioux City in the USHL Draft. A week after the USHL Draft, Bouquot announced his commitment to Boston College.
Explain your commitment process. When did schools start reaching out? Did they talk to your coach or your advisor?
My commitment process was very hard and a very difficult decision as I had lots of great school giving me great opportunities. It took me a long time to decide as I wanted to make the right choice for myself and my family. I wanted to be somewhere I could be a student athlete and be able to excel both on and off the ice. I had to be comfortable with the coaching staff, the community and the whole program. As I went through the process it was clear to me that BC gave me the best opportunity to for all these to happen. I felt that Coach York and his staff were a great fit, I love the campus and its location, and the community had a great feel too it, very similar to Salisbury.
Schools began to reach out in the summer going into my sophomore year and continued to all the way until the end of the prep school season. My advisors George Bazos and Jordan Neumann did a great job with helping me find schools that I would like and giving me great advice going through the whole process. They never told me where to go, but they guided me and helped me get my thoughts out so I knew what I was really thinking. They were a huge help in this process and I was glad they were there to assist me. Also, Coach Will did more than I could have ever asked for during the college process. Before I had even practice or played a game for him he was talking to coaches and helping me. When I got to campus, anytime I needed to talk about anything college or life related, he was there. Living away from home can be tough, but Coach Will made it a lot easier for me. When I was getting ready to make my decision he sat down with me for about an hour and really helped make things clear. He supported all my thoughts, and, just like my advisors, never told me what to do. My parents, advisors and Coach Will made all of this possible and I am very grateful for that.
What other schools were you interested in? Did you take college visits?
I received offers from Providence, UConn, Ohio State and UNH, and I visited all of them.
What was it about BC that made you commit there? Was it a difficult decision knowing the other schools in the picture? What factors played into your decision to commit there?
I felt like BC was just the right place for me because I felt comfortable with the staff, the community, and their hockey program is obviously top notch. I wanted to be somewhere that I knew would be a great place to get me to the next level, but also where I can compete to win a national championship every year. Also, the idea of living in Boston as a student is every kid from New England’s dream, and I couldn’t pass up the great opportunity I had there. Also, the combination of the athletic support you get from the community and the great academics is amazing. BC isn’t only a great hockey program, but getting a degree from there is something that will prepare me better for the real world.
Knowing that there were other great schools in the picture made my decision very difficult. It took me about 8 months to decide where I wanted to spend 4 years of my life and that was mostly because of all the great schools I had to choose from. There were schools that I loved the staff and other parts of the school, but none seemed to fit quite like BC did. The main factors were can I fit in at the school, do I like the program and do I want to be apart of that community, and every time I asked my self this I said yes with BC every time.
You were recently drafted in the USHL by Sioux City Musketeers? How was that experience for you?
Being drafted by Sioux City was a great experience for me and something I was looking forward to for a long time. The USHL is a great league and I aspire to play there one day. I was ecstatic when I heard Sioux City drafted me. They have a great set up, their fan base is great, and I’ve only heard great things about them from many people who know a lot about hockey.
You grew up in Connecticut, played for Mid-Fairfield and made the jump to a talented Salisbury team this year. How was the transition to the prep game from bantams, and how did your year in prep go? What made you pick Salisbury?
The transition from bantam to prep was great for me because I had about 25 games with Yale u16 split season to give me a good feel and the practices here at Salisbury are run tremendously well. They are physical, high tempo and very fast. The practices being like this made it easier to play in games. The best competition was in practice all week because of the amount of great players we have. We all pushed each other to be the best and the winning culture that has been here for so long was instilled in me very quickly. The seniors made it clear quickly how hard we had to work to win. All of these examples above are the main reasons I picked Salisbury. I really liked the coaching staff, the facilities are second to none, and I wanted to be apart of another winning culture like I was with Mid-Fairfield. Also the brotherhood and community here is amazing and you have to be a part of it to know how special it is, but the support here is great and this all led me to pick Salisbury.
What are your goals for next season? Will you be returning to Salisbury?
My goal for next season is to win an Elite 8 New England Championship and take another big step in my development. There is nothing more special than that. Salisbury is a great place to develop and I have all the confidence that I will continue too here. Also, my teammates and I are going to work as hard as possible and I believe that if we do, we will win a championship. The culture here at Salisbury is winning and it is now my job to instill that in the new guys so we can continue to win. Upholding the Salisbury standard is a huge part in winning and I have all the confidence that we can do it again.
Describe your game and what you think you will bring to Sioux City and Boston College?
I really like to think the game. I think that I am an intelligent player who likes to make other people better. I’m a good size and I like to work hard in the corners and all over the ice. I love making plays and handling the puck. Playing hockey is the thing I love the most and I put my heart into it. I love to set up my teammates, score goals and work hard. Over my short time at Salisbury I have learned you can not just go through the motions. Playing against guys who are 2 or 3 years older than you, you have to be a 200-foot player and work as hard as you can to produce. Salisbury helped turn me into a complete player and I can only see myself getting better here.
What areas of your game are you looking to improve from now until your freshman year at BC?
I really want to improve on my strength and skating. Being stronger will give me a heavier shot and will allow me to win battles all over the ice. With the strength it will also improve my skating, giving me deeper, longer strides so I can play a faster, harder game.
Do you have an idea of what you might want to go to school for (referring to what major or area of study)?
I have not put a lot of thought into my area of study yet, but have a good feel for what subjects I like and what I want to do in life after hockey. I think whatever major I pick will be a passion of mine and I will be able to study it at BC at a high level.
What are your summer plans?
This summer I plan to do a lot of off ice training to get ready for next year’s prep season. As I said earlier, I want to get stronger and the off ice training will do a great job of that to make me the most complete player possible.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images