Canucks: Brock Boeser needs to shoot the puck more next year

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 09: Brock Boeser #6 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena on October 9, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 09: Brock Boeser #6 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena on October 9, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images) /

The Vancouver Canucks need Brock Boeser to be the pure goal scorer that he was during his rookie year. Expect him to shoot the puck more once hockey returns.

Brock Boeser‘s God-given talent and natural scoring ability were on full display during his rookie debut and ultimately it fast-tracked his NHL career and transformed him into a bloody rockstar overnight. Scoring on command he was a smashing success, but his quick rise to superstar status left him with some fairly large expectations to live up to.

With the Canucks coming off back-to-back franchise record-setting lows for fewest goals in the previous two seasons, Boeser’s elite scoring touch was welcomed warmly to Vancouver. Quickly he became the go-to trigger man on the team’s top power play unit and it became the top priority of Henrik and Daniel Sedin to feed him the puck. His wrist shot was his best feature and with it, he could score at will. Through 62 games he found the back of the net 29 times. That’s a 38 goal pace over an 82 game span!

He was a freak of nature in his rookie campaign (especially on the man-advantage) and if it weren’t for his season-ending back injury, he very well could have won the Calder Trophy as well as surpassed Pavel Bure for the Canucks’ rookie scoring record. But Boeser knew he couldn’t feel too upset about how his first year ended. The hit that caused his injury was scary and Boeser was lucky to fully recover 100%.

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Ever since the gruesome hit was laid out by Cal Clutterbuck, Boeser just hasn’t been able to score at the same rate. Sitting at nearly an incredible half a goal per game during his rookie campaign (0.46 GPG), his numbers have fallen each year since. His sophomore season resulted in nearly a 10% dip (0.37 GPG), and finally, with just 16 goals this season he took another 10% decline from the season before (0.28 GPG).

Boeser’s shot percentage steadily declined along with his goals per game statistics. An inflated 16.2% conversion rate in his rookie year was bound to go down some as it did in his second season, but it was downed by nearly half in his third full year as he only managed to score on 9.5% of his shots this season.

But where Boeser’s numbers really took a dip this year was on the power play. He was a power play specialist in his rookie season, but two years removed from a team-best 17.24% power play shooting percentage and a team-leading 23 power play points (10 goals and 13 assists), Boeser has fallen hard.

Without a single goal on the man-advantage to show for himself since November 2019, Boeser’s struggles were clear and his once impactful wrist shot quickly became overlooked by Quinn Hughes in favour of setting up an Elias Pettersson one-timer. His five power play goals this season ranked dead last amongst his fellow first unit linemates and his 16 total was as low as sixth on the team stat sheet.

It’s time for Boeser to get back to basics and back to shooting that wrist shot. There’s one way to get the best out of a player like Boeser, and that’s to let him be the shooter he’s supposed to be. He took excellent strides forward in terms of his game away from scoring goals, but Boeser needs to get back to making sure his best asset (his worst shot) is the team’s deadliest weapon.

We all remember his ridiculously beautiful rookie goal versus Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens, don’t we? That’s the type of Boeser the Canucks need to see, and he’s still there beneath the surface somewhere.

Next. Canucks offseason trade candidates: Brock Boeser. dark

Boeser needs to shoot the puck with confidence. Only then will he unlock his greatest ability.