#2: Nils Höglander
Nils Höglander had a tough 2021-22 season. He was a victim of the sophomore slump.
While many players improved after Boudreau’s arrival, Höglander didn’t. He was struggling on both ends of the rink, especially on the defensive side. Höglander also finished the season with nine fewer points than 2020-21.
Boudreau gave some harsh, but fair criticism of Höglander last season.
Next season is a “prove it” year for the 21-year-old. He will likely get limited minutes to start the season but if he does well in those minutes, he can get more.
Since he is still quite young, there is lots of room for growth in Höglander’s game. I do think he can take a step forward next year mainly because he has a high work ethic. But he needs to improve his game on both ends of the rink.
#3: Brock Boeser
Brock Boeser has been marred by three things throughout his NHL career: Skating, injuries and inconsistency.
Inconsistency is a big one. Last season, he showed flashes of brilliance under Boudreau but there were times when he just disappeared.
When he is on his game, Boeser is a lethal goal scorer. However, he wasn’t that for most of last season. His shot was missing the net or he looked hesitant to shoot or he just flat out missed the net.
With a new contract under his belt, Boeser will be determined to prove his doubters wrong. He just needs to find a way to score goals consistently. He has plenty of linemate options this upcoming season thanks to the forward depth the Canucks forward group has.
I have a feeling we will see a big year from Boeser.