#1: Brock Boeser
It seemed like things were going up for Brock Boeser after the 2020-21 season. He led the Canucks in goals with 23 and points with 49. On an 82-game pace, that is 33 goals and 71 points. What made Boeser’s 2020-21 season more remarkable was that he stayed healthy for the entire season.
Boeser looked to build on last season’s success, especially in a contract year. However, it has been a disappointing year, to say the least.
Sure, he has 21 goals and 23 assists for 44 points in 68 games. (Most of those points happened after Bruce Boudreau arrived.) But after last season, you should have expected more. His shooting percentage in all situations went down from 11.8% last season to 7.8% this season according to MoneyPuck.
Boeser has gone through long stretches without scoring and there were times when his shot didn’t look as lethal as it can be. He was missing the net or letting the goalie make a simple save. There were a bunch of times when Boeser did not look noticeable.
Consistency has been an issue for Boeser this season and his future is in doubt. The Canucks have to deal with Boeser’s qualifying offer which is 7.5 million dollars. If the two sides cannot come to a deal perhaps they should part ways via trade. Boeser of course can probably fetch a young right-handed defenceman.
#2: Nils Höglander
Nils Höglander had a decent rookie season and the skilled winger brought excitement to Canucks fans. He was putting up points and displaying great puck handling and ability.
This season, he hasn’t done a lot in terms of production. Höglander has also been poor on the defensive side which caused Boudreau to call him out. He was turning the puck over and losing track of the player he was checking easily.
Höglander had 10 goals and 8 assists for 18 points in 60 games. Last season, in 56 games, he had 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points. Some of it is puck luck, yes. But there are times when Höglander wasn’t doing enough to create offence. It’s safe to say Höglander dealt with the sophomore slump.
Höglander is out for the season with an upper-left-leg/core muscle issue. Hopefully, things get better for him health-wise and on the ice next season.