Vancouver Canucks Sign Brock Boeser; Will Make Debut Saturday

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TAMPA, FL - APRIL 9: Brock Boeser #16 of North Dakota Fighting Hawks celebrates after scoring the eventual national championship clinching game-winning goal for a 2-0 lead during the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Frozen Four Championship final at the Amaile Arena on April 9, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brock Boeser

After a heart breaking double overtime loss to Boston University in the first round of the NCAA hockey playoffs, the University of North Dakota’s men’s hockey season came to a close, and so did forward Brock Boeser‘s career there. Boeser, who was selected 23rd overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft, signed an entry level contract deal Saturday morning after arriving at the team hotel in Minnesota. Boeser is set to make his NHL debut today against the Minnesota Wild, his hometown team, just hours after playing with UND.

Vancouver Canucks Sign Brock Boeser; Will Make Debut Saturday

In his two seasons with the University of North Dakota, Boeser put up 94 points in 74 games played, which included 38 points in 32 games this season. Boeser also was a part of the 2016 NCAA Tournament winning UND team. Today, Boeser will be in the starting lineup for the Canukcs as they take on the Wild.

Boeser, 20, has quite the resume, including NCHC (National Collegiate Hockey Conference) Offensive Player of Month in October and earned NCHC Offensive Player of the Week twice this past season. Last season, he won the AHCA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) All-America West First Team accolades, NCHC Rookie of the Year and was named to the NCHC First Team and All-NCHC Rookie Team. He also was apart of the NCHC Academic All-Conference Team. During 2014-15, Boeser led the USHL (United States Hockey League) in goals and was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team and to the First All-Star Team. In international play, Boeser helped Team USA win a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships.

The Canucks are ranked 27th in the NHL and will be missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third time in four seasons now. Boeser’s signing and debut give the fans something to smile about as well as Boeser some NHL experience.

Scouting Report by Ben Kerr

rock Boeser is a pure sniper who has a tremendous one-timer. He also has a hard wrist shot with a hair trigger release. He has the hockey sense and ability to find holes in the opposing defence and set himself up for a shot. A good skater and puck handler, Boeser also has the ability to create openings for himself or others. He can also be a play maker, with good vision and solid passing skill.

Boeser could stand to add more muscle to his frame. This would make him even more effective in the corners and in front of the net. He doesn’t show fear to go to dirty areas right now, but he could simply win more battles with more core strength. Boeser has a low centre of gravity and cycles the puck well now, but should be even better in time if he can add that muscle. He forechecks hard and can punish defencemen in the corners with hits if they don’t move the puck quickly. Boeser also has the soft hands necessary to finish plays in close to the net.

Skating

Brock Boeser has very good top end speed, but his first few steps and acceleration are merely slightly above average. His start up is a little choppy and if he can make it a bit smoother he could really improve this area of his game. He has made strides in this area since joining North Dakota, but there are still a few more refinements to make. Boeser has good agility, and the edge work to make quick cuts on defenders. His balance and power are very good at the college level and allow him to fight through checks; but again a little more lower body strength is needed before he goes pro.

Defensive Game

Brock Boeser’s defensive game is inconsistent. At times he looks very strong, with strong backchecking, good positioning and the active stick to break up plays and start the transition game. He gets involved in board battles and shows a willingness to put his body on the line to block shots. At other times, he gets caught puck watching and cheating for the long stretch pass through the neutral zone. The talent to play a two-way games is there. It is hoped that he will become more consistent with added maturity.

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