Brock Boeser will not be playing in a Canucks uniform just yet.
After a stellar freshman year at the University of North Dakota that included winning the National Championship and a rookie of the year nomination, Vancouver’s 23rd overall selection in the 2015 Draft has elected to remain in university for at least another year.
I am looking forward to coming back to UND for my Soph season to defend our NCAA National Championship!
— Brock Boeser (@BBoeser16) April 11, 2016
While most of the talk regarding the Canucks’ college prospects has been attributed to goaltender Thatcher Demko, some have questioned Boeser’s intentions in recent weeks. On the heels of such an impressive rookie season, it might have been wishful thinking to predict Jim Benning and Co. would sign Boeser so quickly.
While it’s probably best for Boeser’s development to remain at UND, some question what the prospect has left to accomplish at the college level. In 42 games this season, the freshman led the Fighting Hawks in goals (27), points (60), and plus/minus (+45). Regardless of your feelings towards that final stat’s legitimacy, he sits atop a list an impressive list of UND players since 2001-2002.
Best +/- by UND rookie (since 2001-02):
B. Boeser +45
B. Murray +34
Z. Parise +23
D. Forbort +22
T. Chorney +21
J. Toews +20
M. Smaby +20
— North Dakota MHockey (@UNDmhockey) April 11, 2016
“He’s a very good offensive player, but what you don’t see is he’s one of our top plus-minus players and his play away from the puck, he plays so hard” Boeser’s coach at UND, Brad Berry, told Vancity Buzz last week. “It’s great to see players do that because in the NHL, all the top players are 200-foot players. We’re very privileged to have Brock here.”
“When he doesn’t have the puck, he tracks hard, he plays hard away from the puck, he wants the puck back.”
Boeser’s game only improved during the NCAA playoffs as well, something Canucks fans hope will be a trademark once he dons the blue and green as a professional. In four playoff games, Boeser had 2 goals and 7 assists, including 1 goal and 3 assists in the final against Quinnipiac.
In the interim, enjoy these highlights from the skilled youngster.