Born in Windsor, Ontario, Boughner played Junior C in Belle River and Junior B in St. Marys before heading to the OHL with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He was a force at both ends of the ice and was chosen 32nd overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.
The rugged blueliner never made it to Motown especially after Vladimir Konstantinov and Niklas Lidstrom were added to the defense corps in the early 1990s. Boughner signed as a free agent with the Florida Panthers but was relegated to the minors until a trade brought him to the Buffalo Sabres. He was a solid physical component on the Buffalo blueline for two and a half years until he was claimed by the expansion Nashville Predators.
Boughner helped the Predators stay competitive most nights during their first two years until a trade brought him to the speedy Pittsburgh Penguins in March 2000. He looked after his own end well and helped the Pens reach the Eastern Conference final in 2001 before joining Calgary as a key component to their defensive core and has been rock solid on the team's blue line ever since.
After two seasons in Calgary, Boughner joined the Carolina Hurricanes for the 2003-04 season. The former Soo Greyhound played 43 games with the Canes before being dealt to the Colorado Avalanche in the latter stages of the season. CHL First All-Star Team (1984)