Vancouver Canucks: Brock Boeser ready for the NHL

VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 8: Brock Boeser
VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 8: Brock Boeser /

Here at The Canuck Way, we’ll take an in-depth look at all the Vancouver Canucks players as we near the 2017-18 season. Up next is 2015 first rounder Brock Boeser, who seems poised for a big rookie year,

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning may not have been sure about it at the time, but he landed one of the NHL’s top prospects in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The name? Brock Boeser, a 6-foot-1 right winger who wasn’t selected until the 23rd pick by Benning.

Boeser was coming off a 35-goal and 68-point season for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL. But he was widely overlooked in a draft that featured generational prospects like Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, plus other prized youngsters like Dylan Strome, Noah Hanifin and Kyle Connor.

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However, the Canucks simply won’t complain about Boeser, who scored a total of 43 goals and 94 points in his two seasons for the University of North Dakota. He was called up to the NHL late last season, and tallied four goals in just nine games.

TSN’s Craig Button ranked Boeser as the eighth-best player not playing in the NHL earlier this year.

The sky is the limit for Boeser, who should seek plenty of time on the top line this year after showing strong chemistry early with Bo Horvat.

As the Canucks prepare for a full-on rebuilding year, Boeser will be given every opportunity to succeed. So how will he look this upcoming season?

Rookie ready

Boeser showed that he was more than NHL-ready after two productive seasons in college. He proved the doubters wrong with his four goals in just nine games, and new head coach Travis Green will surely look to give Boeser every opportunity to succeed.

Assuming the Sedins (finally), assume second or third line roles throughout all of 2017-18, then there’s no question that Boeser will skate on the top line with Horvat and presumably Sven Baertschi.

Related Story: Prospects Ranking Top 20: #1 Brock Boeser

Boeser has all the tools to succeed in the NHL. He’s got the size, the blistering shot and the game-changing speed. There’s not a strong weakness in his game that’ll hold him back, and he’s simply ready for a full NHL season.

As long as he stays healthy and Green gives him top-line minutes, you can expect Boeser to be among Vancouver’s top goal-scorers in 2018. Consider him a dark horse for the Calder Trophy, too.

Projecting the stats

Should Green indeed choose to put Boeser on the top line (and one of the two power play minutes), right off the bat, then the Canucks rookie is in line for a strong showing in 2017-18. I just can’t find a reason to believe that Boeser will struggle. He’s one of the game’s most NHL-ready prospects.

Boeser has the game and the No. 1 centre to help him succeed. Seeing how tremendous he was in just nine games last season, I’m expecting a big year from Boeser. Here are my projected stats for him in 2017-18:

Goals: 23

Assists: 22

Points: 45

PIM: 40

+/-: -3

Corsi For %: 50.1

It’s been a long time since a Canucks rookie came into the NHL and dominated from the get-go, but this is how great Boeser is going to be. He’s going to be one of the NHL’s top goal-scorers for years to come.

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The Canucks may be rebuilding, but that basically means the young kids/rookies will be given the most chances to succeed. Boeser will capitalize on it and piece together a strong rookie season that sees him reach the 20-goal mark.

*Stats courtesy of Hockey Reference and Hockey DB*