There aren’t many players heading to Canucks camp who are as electrifying as Brock Boeser.
If we’re being honest, Elias Pettersson might be the only one who can match Boeser’s skill.
After Boeser’s incredible rookie campaign in which he put up 29 goals and 55 points, expectations are high for the sophomore now that he’s fully healthy.
“I’m feeling a lot better,” Boeser said to a scrum of reporters at the Canucks charity golf tournament on Wednesday. “Ever since i got cleared in early July, it’s been hard training. I’m feeling good and ready to get the seasons started.”
Boeser surely would have challenged Mat Barzal for the Calder Trophy if he was healthy. Instead, the injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. The important thing though is that the Burnsville, Minnesota native is back to full health, and says he doesn’t want to change the way he plays.
“I want to stick to the that same game that I play and I don’t want to get away from it. If I’m skating backwards in that same area, I might not hit the guy because there are some flashbacks, but I’ll keep playing my game and do what I do best.”
Boeser put his body to the test in Da Beauty League this offseason, where he continued to showcase his offensive talent. He led all players in scoring with 16 goals and 34 points in 9 games.
Not only did Boeser look like his old self out there, but he had some extra motivation behind the bench. Brock’s dad, Duke, lined up with Keith Ballard behind the bench as coaches of Team BIC.
“Oh yeah, it meant a lot to me,” Boeser told Nucks Misconduct. “It’s been a while since he coached me, I think mites was the last time, so just to have him back there was awesome. Keith Ballard was always telling him to tell stuff to me, tell me to shoot the puck or whatever, to see how i would react so it was fun, we all had a fun time.”
“I think [Da Beauty League] gave me confidence and made me relax knowing that my wrist is good. To be able to play some games against high level players is nice.”
Boeser not worried about the money
Nor should he be, because he’s going to get paid.
Jim Benning announced on Thursday that contract talks between the organization and Boeser’s agent will take place after the seasons concludes. Make what you will of that, but for Boeser he’s hoping not to answer those questions as the season goes on.
Boeser will play out the last year of his entry-level contract and will talk long-term contract at the end of the season, said Benning. #CanucksCamp— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) September 13, 2018
“I haven’t really thought about it too much and I’m not worried about it at all,” Boeser told reporters. “I don’t know what the numbers will be but ill worry about it after the season.”
“If you guys bring it up, I’ll just brush it to the side.”
“Im just going to focus on what I can do on the ice. If i do that everything else will fall into place.”
Just like us, Boeser embraces the youth
For years, fans of this hockey club have been clamoring for the team to get younger. Boeser is clearly part of that youth movement, but he’s also keeping an eye on the next wave of young Canucks.
“There’s a good amount of guys in our prospect pool that I’m excited to see,” Boeser told NM. “There’s Pettersson, Dahlen, Adam Gaudette. There’s a lot of exciting prospects here so I’m excited to get camp started.”
Those three were already making highlight reels before the beginning of camp with the annual Young Stars tournament.
“I just saw some of those highlights on Twitter and they were pretty unreal,” Boeser said. “We have a deep prospect pool team, It’s fun for us to watch, so things are looking up.”
At the very top of the youth movement is Boeser’s most common linemate from last season, Bo Horvat. Even though the Canucks are in no rush to name a captain, Boeser can’t say enough good things about Horvat’s influence on the team.
“Bo is a phenomenal player and in the locker room he’s a great leader. Not just in the locker room but outside the locker room too. He’s a really mature kid.”