Guillaume Richard, an offensive-minded defenseman from Quebec City, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Maine on a hockey scholarship next fall.

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Richard is playing for the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League. He has an assist in three games.

“He is very gifted. His big thing is he has a high hockey IQ,” said UMaine head coach Red Gendron. “He has extraordinary hockey sense.”

Richard is eligible for the 2021 NHL draft and Gendron said he is highly touted. He is on Sports Illustrated’s 2021 Draft Watch list.

Guillaume Richard Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Black Bears

“It reminds me of home. I liked the coaching staff,” Richard said. “They trusted me to come in next year. And I met the players on my visit and they were nice. They made me feel welcome,” Richard said.

Last season, Richard registered six goals and 37 assists in 54 games for four different teams, including two goals and 30 assists in 36 games for Mount St. Charles Academy in Rhode Island.

He also played for the Rhode Island Saints 16-under AAA team (2 goals, 3 assists) and competed for Canada at the World Under-17 Championships (2&4). He played five games with Tri-City with no points.

Richard, who turns 18 in February, is a special offensive defenseman, Gendron said.

“The game is slow for him. He sees the open man that a lot of players wouldn’t see. And he is able to get his shots through from the point,” he added.

UMaine has three senior defensemen this season in J.D. Greenway, Cameron Spicer and Veli-Matti Tiuraniemi. All NCAA winter sports athletes will retain a year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it isn’t known if the Black Bears’ seniors will choose to return next season.

Richard’s offensive prowess will give the Black Bears a boost since none of their defensemen registered more than 10 points a year ago.

His participation at UMaine is dependent upon his being accepted to the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.