Brock Boeser – 2017 Canucks Prospect Development Camp Round-up
By: Connor Jung
The first thing I noticed about Brock Boeser last week was his skating — crazy, right? His first stride acceleration and laterally mobility have definitely improved — albeit, amongst his peers. There was a drill they did at center ice that tested reaction and explosiveness to retrieve a puck that turned into a battle drill. Brock dominated, winning the race and fending off the opposing players with his strength.
The principal knock on Boeser’s game has always been his skating — something scouts and NHL executives know, and a reason why he wasn’t as highly regarded as other NCAA standouts like Dylan Larkin or Zach Werenski as cited by Corey Pronman in January. However, it appears his hard work has paid off at Development Camp and with a couple months until training camp, Boeser’s focus has shifted to working on his conditioning. Adjusting to the pro schedule is something Boeser has yet to face, as college seasons are approximately 40 games with more focus on instruction and training.
A play that I saw repeatably throughout the prospects game — and also watching him at North Dakota, is when he circles up his offwing. Off a cycle, he'll protect the puck coming up the boards and make one fake and cut hard into the high slot. I’m a huge fan of this individual play because it creates opportunities for a dynamic offensive player like Boeser who can shoot from the high slot or pass — since he’s created a partial 2-on-1. It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll be able to pull off this play at NHL speeds.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about at 5:00 (Yes, there was interference on that play but you get the point):