Brock Boeser is quietly having a very hot start to the 2020-21 NHL season.
While other stars are getting more attention and plenty more plaudits, Brock Boeser is going slightly under the radar as he absolutely lights it up for the surging Vancouver Canucks, who have turned somewhat of a corner as of late.
Having endured a sluggish start to the year, the Canucks are now third in the ultra-competitive North Division with a 6-5-0 record having won their last four games, with Boeser playing a huge role in their recent success and sudden turnaround.
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Now, granted, three of those four wins did come against the Ottawa Senators who are simply far worst than anyone could have predicted, but the Canucks did beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-1 on Saturday and they will pit their wits against a very, very good Montreal Canadiens team tonight.
While the step up in quality of opponent will be noticeable, the Canucks do boast a sizeable advantage in a surging Boeser, who has really hit his stride and is currently one of the most potent offensive threats in the National Hockey League. Through 11 games the winger has 11 points but he’s tied for the league lead in goals with 8 alongside Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid.
Boeser has simply been lethal in the offensive zone so far this season and he has four goals in his last two games, including lighting the lamp twice against a Winnipeg team that were 5-2-0 on the year prior to Saturday’s game. In other words, this is the Brock Boeser that the Vancouver Canucks were counting on when they selected him with the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Brock Boeser is morphing into an all-round threat for the Vancouver Canucks
Boasting a wicked release and one of the sweetest shots in the entire league, the 23-year-old is more than capable of putting up huge numbers and morphing into a Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy candidate, while his eight goals already this season means that he’s halfway to matching his total from last season. And, given his current pace, it wouldn’t be surprising if Boeser beat his previous career-high of 29 goals in the 2017-18 season, despite the fact that this season is a shortened 56-game schedule.
You can’t bet against Brock Boeser hitting the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career this year though given his current level of play, and it is also the way that he is both scoring and committing himself to the defensive side of the game that is most impressive.
For instance, he’s found a plethora of different ways to score in the last two games alone, scoring off the rush, finding success in the slot area, thriving in a new role down low on the power play and then, of course, there’s his absolute snipe of a shot that must give all goalies in the NHL absolute nightmares.
Boeser is playing at the peak of his powers right now and he’s proving that, when fully healthy and not hindered by injuries, he has the ability and the talent to be an elite scoring threat in the National Hockey League, and he’s been a catalyst in the Canucks turning their season around and getting back on track after a horror show of a start.
Plus, heeding advice from Head Coach Travis Green, Boeser has worked on the defensive side of his game this year and that was on full display on Saturday against Winnipeg when, after holding the Jets’ dynamic and dangerous top line of Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor to just four shots and no points, Boeser took advantage of a broken stick and seized a bouncing puck before sending it 105 feet down ice and into an empty net.
It was a goal that sealed the game and ensured that the right winger joined Tony Tanti as the only player in franchise history to record four two-game goals through the first 11 games of a season, but it also highlighted the new-found confidence that Brock Boeser is currently playing with and he’s now emerging as more than a one-dimensional gunner and instead a lethal offensive threat who can also make huge contributions in all three zones, and the fact that he’s now putting it all together and elevating his game to a whole other level is very good news for the Vancouver Canucks and their long-term aspirations of winning a Stanley Cup with this young talent-laden core.