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Xavier Booberry Prospect Scouting Report

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Xavier Booberry's Prospect Scouting Report


Name: Xavier Booberry

Number: 80
Team: Houston Bulls (VHLM)

Draft Year: S80


Thirteen games into Xavier Booberry’s career with the Houston Bulls in the VHLM, and scouts still don’t quite know what to expect from the Minnesota-born goaltender. On one hand, his work ethic seems to be among the league’s top performers, and his save percentage is at least in the top half of goalies in his first full season. On the other hand – Houston’s struggling as a team, and particularly if you’re a rebuilding team with a high pick, can you really trust Booberry to start leading your team to victories?


There’s a lot of questions current scouts are looking to grapple with. But even early on, a few pros and cons have emerged in Booberry’s game.




Work Ethic: Initially, there might have been questions about Booberry’s commitment to hockey given that his agency’s last player, Lance Flowers, was a solid but not top-shelf star in the VHL. Early on, though, Booberry hasn’t missed a single day of practice, and he vows to continue that trend throughout his VHL career. A scout’s assessment: “The top-end drive is there, for sure. But ten seasons is a long time. I’ll ultimately believe it when I see it, but he’s less of a risk of flaming out than some others in the draft.”


Hand Speed: For such a large goalie, the skill that has really shown brightest in Booberry’s game thus far is his hand speed. Particularly in a VHL that features sniper after sniper, those quick reflexes are among the top skills that today’s VHL GMs are looking for. A scout’s assessment: “You can really tell he’s worked on this skill so far leading up to the draft. It puts him among the tops of VHLM goalies I’ve seen, for sure, and will be a crucial skill moving forward.”




Rebound Control: All of the attention paid to hand speed means some skills will have been left out in the lurch, and rebound control is foremost among them currently. Booberry has shown a tendency to give up second chance goals that he probably should have covered up – a problem exacerbated by a Houston defense that only has two active players on the roster. A scout’s assessment: “I can see this getting fixed in time, but it’s a glaring hole in his game right now. That save percentage would be above .900 if you were just counting first shots, but that’s not the way hockey works.”


Arrogance: Booberry may just be a prospect right now, but talk to him for a while, and it’s clear the young goalie believes he should be a star – and recognized accordingly. Maybe he will be, given his talents. But would that rub a tight-knit locker room the wrong way? It could certainly be a concern for some GMs. A scout’s assessment: “I can see Booberry going to a rebuilding team where he could be the centerpiece just fine. A currently-winning team might have some pause though. Booberry’s going to want to be starting in the VHL as soon as S81, and if a team can’t accommodate that, it’s likely not going to be the best fit.”

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