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2021 Canucks Top 25 Under 25: #3 Brock Boeser

The 24-year-old scored at a career-high pace last season.

Vancouver Canucks v Buffalo Sabres
Brock Boeser #6 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game on October 19, 2021 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to the 2021 Edition of the Vancouver Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings. The list includes all players born after January 1st, 1997. Seven staff writers (Beggsy, Westy, Kent Basky, CanucksAbbyFan2, Markus Meyer, Noah Strang, Harsunder Singh H) and two outside writers (Daniel Gee & Cam Robinson) cast votes for the project.

Time flies when you’re...not a very good hockey team?

It seems like just yesterday that the Vancouver Canucks drafted a kid from Minnesota with long blonde hair in the latter half of the legendary 2015 NHL draft. Fast-forward to 2021, and Brock Boeser is now playing in his fifth full season with the Canucks — and his last for eligibility on our Top 25 Under 25 Rankings.

Although last season was brutal for many on the team, it was actually a decent year for Boeser. He led the team in both goals and points, and his stats from 2020-21 can be prorated to 33 goals and 71 points over a full 82 games.

Probably the most important development with Boeser last season is that he was able to play in every single one of the Canucks games. He had missed at least 12 games per season in each of the last three years.

When “The Lotto Line” was busy dominating the NHL in 2019-20, at times, it seemed like Boeser was a bit of a passenger.

While JT Miller and Elias Pettersson were busy setting career highs in points-per-game, Boeser actually took a bit of a step back. However, his underlying numbers at even-strength remained strong, with his 2.13 points-per-60 at evens being a career-high. His power play production did take a step back, with Miller and Bo Horvat garnering more points with the man advantage.

What we saw in 2020-21 though, was that Boeser is more than capable of carrying his own line.

Miller and Pettersson often looked out of sorts last season, but it was Boeser who was the team’s most consistent forward.

Vancouver Canucks v Winnipeg Jets
Brock Boeser #6 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on during a second period stoppage in play against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on May 11, 2021 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

What’s Next for Boeser

Can he return to a 33-goal, 71-point pace over a full 82 games?

Is there potential for even better numbers?

Those first-line calibre numbers are something that Boeser seems more than capable of achieving at the NHL level. When he was a rookie, some were projecting a 40-goal player, although that’s a mark that very few players hit. During the NHL’s last full season in 2018-19, only 13 players hit that mark.

There’s no doubt that Boeser is a top-line player in this league. If he continues to stay healthy, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t post around 30 goals and 70 points.

There’s also very little doubt that the 24-year-old will remain glued to Elias Pettersson’s side. Boeser just hasn’t shown much chemistry with Horvat since he was a rookie, whereas alongside Pettersson, the duo has been superb. Head coach Travis Green has also shuffled Miller around the lineup, so keeping Boeser and Pettersson on the first line at least gives the top of the lineup some consistency.

The other thing to watch for with Boeser this season is a possible Olympic appearance. He’s not a lock to make the roster for Team USA, but for a player of his calibre, he’s certainly in the mix.