'Shoot first, ask questions later': Boushy's journey to The Nest

Feb 28, 2023

Austin Owens I Halifax Thunderbirds


Chris Boushy has cemented himself as one of the top offensive weapons on the Halifax Thunderbirds with his strong play over the last two years, but his journey to the Maritimes began on the other side of the globe.


Boushy’s father was from Canada, but after moving to South Africa for work, he met Chris’ mother. Chris and his brother, Michael, were both born in Johannesburg. When Boushy was five years old, he and his family moved to Canada. 


In terms of sports, Boushy said there wasn’t much to offer when he was under five years old. He said that he started hitting a golf ball when he was around two years old. 


“My parents thought I might be the next Tiger Woods, so they let me whack the ball around,” Boushy said with a laugh. 


His father had played hockey for his entire life, and when the family came to Canada, he immediately had his sons in skates. Once Boushy began playing hockey, he started to notice his friends picking up lacrosse sticks during summers, which made him want to give the sport a try. 


“Thankfully, my parents rarely said no to things I wanted to try. They always told me that if I showed dedication to it, they’d let me keep giving it a try.”


While he played both sports throughout his teens, Boushy began to prioritize lacrosse in his Grade 11 year. He’d begun playing junior lacrosse with the Junior B Halton Hills Bulldogs and decided to go fully into trying to make it as a player in the National Lacrosse League one day. 


“I really kicked it into high gear knowing that there are a lot of people that are better than me, and to get where I wanted to go, I had to put in that extra work. So, that’s what I did,” Boushy said. “I’d wake up at six in the morning, go to the gym after class, and go to the field and shoot in the winter. I was a little bit of a psycho for a year because I knew what my goal was.”


Following a 46-goal, 94-point summer in 2016, Boushy jumped full-time to the OJLL’s Burlington Chiefs, where he was able to follow that year up with 71 points in 2017. With another year of junior left, Boushy was going to school at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, allowing him to enter the NLL draft while still going to school in Canada. 


Boushy was selected by the Saskatchewan Rush with the 31st overall pick in the 2017 NLL Draft. However, he didn’t break camp with the veteran-laden squad. After another solid summer in Burlington in 2018, he was able to sign a deal to go to camp with the Buffalo Bandits. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out there, and Boushy returned to school, waiting for his next opportunity. 


“I remember being so upset after training camp on the train ride back to Kingston. But on the way back, I got a call from Curt Malawsky,” Boushy said. “So, I had been cut by Buffalo at the start of the train ride, and by the end, I had signed a contract with the Calgary Roughnecks. So, that train ride was a bit of a roller coaster for me.”


In his rookie year, Boushy played eight games for the Roughnecks, putting up 14 points over that span. However, he’d be on the move again, this time via trade. The Rochester Knighthawks acquired him ahead of the 2019 trade deadline. 


It paid dividends for both sides. Boushy went on a tear in the backstretch of that season, scoring 14 goals and 22 points in his final eight games of the year. 


“I think my first game with Rochester was the day after I was traded, and I got a call saying that I was in the lineup,” Boushy said. “I met Cody (Jamieson) for the first time. He was another guy that I used to grow up watching. And the first thing he said to me was, ‘Hey, nice to meet you. Happy you’re on the team. Shoot first and ask questions later.’ So, I just listened to him.”


Following the franchise's move to Halifax in 2019, Boushy has steadily carved out his role in this offensive unit. In 2022, he set new career highs with 26 goals and 47 points in 17 games. 


Despite becoming one of the best producers in the lineup on a nightly basis, Boushy has never settled with how far he’s come. He continues to battle every day to earn his spot.


“I have always looked at myself – maybe to a fault – as an underdog,” Boushy said. “I go into the rink always thinking what I have to do to prove that I deserve to be here still. Although it may not be true, I always think I’m one bad play away from being cut. So, my goal is always to go out there and play the hardest I can with the most emotion and having the guys we do around me to help and teach me every shift, I think that’s just helped to increase my production.”


That hard work and mentality have Boushy off to another hot start to this season. He currently sits tied for 12th in goals league-wide with 22 through 10 games. He is currently on pace to break personal season bests. 


On one of the top loaded offensive units in the league, the righty has been undeniable, currently leading the Thunderbirds in goals. He continues to impress every week, and at just 25 years old, he’s just hitting his stride.


“I think over the years, I’ve just learned that I’m more resilient than I thought. I think I’ve just realized that, although things might not go your way every night, the hard work is paying off, and you’re doing it right,” Boushy said. “At this point, (My spot) is mine to lose, and nobody is going to take this away from me unless I give it to them. I just try to keep learning every day.”

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