Vancouver Canucks: Brock Boeser a Calder Trophy candidate

EDMONTON, AB - APRIL 9: Brock Boeser
EDMONTON, AB - APRIL 9: Brock Boeser /

Thanks to an extremely dominant preseason, all eyes will be on Vancouver Canucks rookie Brock Boeser, who is one of the early favorites to take home the Calder Trophy in 2018.

Many Vancouver Canucks fans may struggle to find optimism in what could be another frustrating season in 2017-18. But if you’re looking for a bright spot, just take a look at rookie Brock Boeser, who will be among the game’s top first-year players in 2018.

Boeser was drafted 23rd overall by the Canucks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, and showed plenty of promise as a late-season call up in 2017 by scoring four goals in nine games. Boeser has been Vancouver’s top player in preseason play, and is virtually a lock to play in the top-six on opening night.

Not only is Boeser among Vancouver’s can’t-miss players in 2018, but he could be one of the favorites to win the Calder Trophy. In fact, TSN’s Craig Button has him as the top candidate to win the prestigious award (my phone’s camera is evidence of this, pardon the poor quality):

Boeser has as much of a chance as anyone else, but he’s going against a large number of other first-year players that have hype written all over them. Among them, Clayton Keller is arguably the top prospect in the game, and Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick were the top two picks of the 2017 Draft for a reason.

But Boeser may be in better position than most of them to succeed. After dominating with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi last year, the expectation is for that line to remain in tact. If Boeser’s on the top line with a true No. 1 centre, it’ll maximize his production.

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When you look at the other players on Button’s list, you can envision many of the forwards being second liners at best, while most of those defencemen will probably be second-pairing. Not going to be easy for them to outshine Boeser, who’s in great position to score around 20 goals and 50 points.

Then again, this is a wide open race in 2018. We knew it’d be down to Auston Matthews and Patrik Lane in 2017. But there are 10-15 rookies who have a reasonable chance at winning it next season.


New head coach Travis Green will have a big say in whether or not Boeser challenges for the Calder Trophy. Putting him on the top line and giving Boeser the power play minutes would go a long way. If he values Boeser as a second or third liner, then the Calder Trophy hopes go way down.

It’s been a long time since a Canucks player last took home a trophy. You’d have to go back to 2011, when Daniel Sedin won the Art Ross, Ryan Kesler the Selke and Roberto Luongo/Cory Schneider shared the Jennings Trophy.

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Pavel Bure was the first and is the only Canuck to win the Calder Trophy, doing so in 1992. If all goes well for him in 2018, Brock Boeser could bring back a trophy to the Canucks organization.