Bourdon only had licence for two weeks.

, Last Updated: 6:12 PM ET

SHIPPAGAN, N.B. - Luc Bourdon received his motorcycle licence just two weeks before his bike veered into the path of transport truck in northern New Brunswick, killing the promising NHL defenceman instantly.

RCMP investigators said Friday that Bourdon's inexperience may have played a role in the death of the Vancouver Canucks rookie.

Bourdon's uncle, Robert Boucher, said his nephew dedicated himself so much to hockey that he took no time off in the last five years as he pursued his dream of playing in the NHL.

Boucher said Bourdon came home to Shippagan earlier this week for a one-month vacation so he could play golf and hang out with his friends.

So many of those friends own motorcycles that Bourdon decided to buy one, too. "He loved to have fun," Boucher said in French during a news conference at the town hall in Shippagan, an Acadian community of 3,000 about 250 kilometres northeast of Fredericton.

"Like anyone who is 21, he loved motorcycles. He wanted to buy a bike. That was his choice."

Bourdon was the first-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks, 10th overall, in the 2005 NHL draft.

He also played a key role in Canada's gold-winning teams at the 2006 and 2007 world junior championships and was expected to have a bright future on the Canucks blueline.

Bourdon was named to the all-star team at the 2006 world juniors. At the 2007 event in Sweden, Bourdon scored the third-period goal that tied the game and forced overtime against the U.S. in the semifinal game.

Bourdon split last season between Vancouver and Manitoba of the American Hockey League. He played 27 games with the Canucks, scoring two goals and collecting 20 penalty minutes.

Boucher described his nephew as a fun-loving guy who "liked to be crazy and do crazy things."

"He was always ready to help people out - people in the family and others as well," he said.

"We lost our little Luc, but I think that Shippagan as well has lost someone important."

RCMP Insp. Roch Fortin suggested weather might also have been a factor in the crash. He said the wind was gusting heavily at the time of the accident on a winding, two-lane road between Shippagan and Lameque.

He said Bourdon's bike crossed the centre line and collided head-on with the truck.

"The truck driver tried everything is his power to avoid the accident," Fortin said. The crash occurred not far from Bathurst, where another sports-related accident in January killed seven members of the Bathurst High basketball team and an adult.

Anna Boucher, Bourdon's great-aunt, said his family is struggling to cope with his death. "It's so sad," she said. "He was a good guy."

She said that although Bourdon's NHL career took him to Vancouver, he often returned to Shippagan and gave back to the community.

"He came to the arena and he used to talk to all the little guys there and he used to play hockey with them," she said from her home in Shippagan.

Boucher recalled that sports were Bourdon's driving passion in life and he excelled at many, including hockey and golf.

Jacques Robichaud lives across the street from Luc Bourdon's father.

"Naturally, the community is saddened," Robichaud said in French. "We all followed his hockey career from the beginning."

Flags at Shippagan's town hall were flying at half-mast.


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