Before the NHL pressed pause on the season, Brock Boeser was having the worst season of his young career. Here is why the winger is poised to bounce-back.
But once the team actually started to win and become relevant again, Boeser faded into the background. His 16 goals and 45 points in 57 games played were the worst totals of his career despite getting top-line minutes and being on the first power play unit.
There is a lot to point at to explain Boeser’s struggles this year, including a rib injury, bad puck luck, and being on a new contract.
The rib injury took Boeser out for over a month, and he only got to play one game before the NHL season went on pause. When he was playing, he was really snake-bitten in terms of luck. His Corsi For percentage this season was at 52.7, but Boeser’s 2019-20 shooting percentage of 9.5 was well below his career shooting percentage of 12.9.
The team’s shooting percentage is at 10.4 percent. Boeser had the puck and was getting the chances. He just wasn’t finding the back of the net.
It hasn’t been all doom and gloom for the winger, though. Even though he saw a drop off in goals, he also saw an increase in assists. His 0.51 assists per game is the best of his career, and throughout the season, we saw Boeser grow into a a more well-round player. At 23 years of age, Boeser still has plenty of great hockey ahead of him. Using his formative years in the NHL to develop all aspects of his game will only benefit Boeser and the team in the long run.
We often see young players in the NHL sign lucrative contracts before taking a step back. Johnny Gaudreau, William Nylander and even Leon Draisaitl underperformed in the first year of their new contracts.
The pressure of living up to the money can consume a player and sometimes take up a lot of space in their heads. After signing his monster deal, Draisaitl took a step back in his production but then followed it up with two back-to-back 100-plus point seasons.
While Boeser isn’t exactly on Draisaitl’s level, he is still experiencing the same the pressure of living up to those expectations. This pause will allow him to take a step back from hockey and to put everything in perspective. Boeser will return well-rested, and a season wise rwith a strong Vancouver surrounding him on the ice.