I'm as big of a Boucher supporter as there is but Boucher's not better than Ryder yet, and he may never reach Ryder's best. He doesn't need a top center to gift him looks, he just needs someone with speed on his line, someone who can get defenders out of position a little. The Devils didn't have that for Ryder for most of the 2nd half of the year.
And the player creating the space with speed needs to be able to muck it up along the boards too.
Brunner and Ryder playing together in a lot of games hurt both players since both players weak board play was exacerbated by the other player weak board play. Nobody could ever recover a puck.