Centre Henry Boucha was a fine scorer and penalty killer whose career was adversely affected by an eye injury. He was a fine international player for the U.S. before making a smooth transition to the North American pro game.
Boucha spent the 1969-70 season with the WCJHL's Winnipeg Jets. The next year he committed himself to the U.S. national team which afforded him a chance to play at the 1971 World Championships and 1972 Sapporo Olympics. In the meantime, he was selected 16th overall by the Detroit Red Wings at the 1971 Amateur Draft. Following the Americans' silver medal performance, the young pivot joined the Wings for the last 16 games of the 1971-72 schedule.
Boucha and his trademark headband were popular figures in Detroit over the next two seasons. He formed a solid line with Red Berenson and Bill Collins and sometimes worked well with speedy Pierre Jarry. During a game at Montreal in 1973, Boucha tied the NHL mark for the second fastest goal from the start of a game by scoring at the six second mark of the first period. In August 1974, Detroit sent the versatile forward to the Minnesota North Stars for sharp-shooter Danny Grant. Boucha was enjoying a solid year when he was involved in an ugly stick-swinging incident with Boston's Dave Forbes which left him with a cracked bone around his eye and blurred vision. He was never the same after the trauma of the injury and the subsequent court case when the State of Minnesota attempted to charge the Boston player with assault.
The clever centre sought a change of scenery with the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA in 1975-76. He joined the NHL's Kansas City Scouts for the last part of the season and remained with the franchise when it relocated to Colorado in 1976-77. Boucha retired nine games into that season as his effectiveness had diminished. His contribution as an American player was acknowledged with his election to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.