38-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Eric Boulton Contract Information:
Became an unrestricted free agent in July 2015.
Boulton scored his first goal of the season Thursday in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Blue Jackets.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Boulton is a player that has one purpose and one purpose only and that is to serve as the team's tough guy when needed. But even in leagues that reward penalty minutes, he may not play enough to warrant consideration.
In 51 games with the Devils last season Boulton did not record a point, but did have 115 PIMs. Even if he does make the team out of camp, which is no sure bet, it will be as a tough guy seeing fourth-line minutes.
Boulton was brought into New Jersey to give the squad a physical presence on its checking line and he figures to receive a handful of minutes each night. Offensively, Boulton won't make much of an impact, but those in leagues that reward penalty minutes may find a use for Boulton in a pinch, as he's never been shy about dropping the gloves.
Over the course of 5 seasons with the Thrashers, Boulton has amassed a total of just 48 points. The 36 year old has made his living in the big leagues as an enforcer and will probably top 100 PIMs for a 4th consecutive year in 2010-11. Besides dropping the gloves every once in a while, Boulton does not offer any value in fantasy leagues.
Boulton had four goals and five assists for the Thrashers in 2007-08. He did register 127 PIM's. He is an enforcer for the Thrash and his job is to protect his stars. He will not be a contributor to any fantasy line-up.
Boulton has a crushing bodycheck and isn't afraid to drop 'em with anybody. While he is the Thrasher's enforcer he doesn't get close to enough PIM's (only 49 last season in 45 games) to be considered in leagues with an enforcer roster spot. Expect to see Boulton popping in and out of the lineup again this season -- making him all but useless in fantasy circles.
Atlanta�s resident tough guy will do what he does best again this season � fight and hit. If you use an enforcer category in your league Boulton may be of use to you. Last season, he had only 87 PIM�s in 51 games but he did manage career highs in goals (4) and points (9). In 2002-03, with the Sabres he managed 178 PIM�s in 58 games, so there is some potential here. He�s not a premier enforcer, but should put up close to 100 PIM�s this coming year.
If the enforcer still exists in the NHL, Boulton will be competing to be the muscle for the Thrashers in 2005-06. He has had the role of enforcer for the Sabres for the last few years and has averaged about three PIM per game. The only problem: he was only playing about 50 games a year. Assuming he takes away playing time from Francis Lessard, he should continue those PIM numbers while playing in a few more games.
Boulton is a good goon when he's out there -- 110 penalty minutes in 44 games -- but unfortunately he doesn't play every game because the Sabres seem to prefer a "goon by committee" approach with Boulton and Andrew Peters. In fact, Peters is more of a pugilist on the rise because he seems a tad tougher and has a better all-around game. If you need to have a Buffalo goon, we'd choose Peters over Boulton.