Draft Retrospective

Draft Retrospective: Making sense of the highs and lows of Brock Boeser's career

When the Vancouver Canucks selected Brock Boeser with the 23rd overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, fans and media alike didn't really know what to make of it. Billed as a natural goalscorer, the Canucks first-rounder came to Vancouver with an extensive track record of production with the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks, with jaw-dropping highlights to match.

What most may not remember is that much of Boeser's league-leading goalscoring was called into question almost immediately as he walked the draft's stage. The USHL was is in its nascent stages of developing into the NHL talent factory it's become today. What was the competition like? Is scoring that much in the USHL even that impressive? Can he move well enough to play in the NHL? There was ample skepticism, to be sure.

What little we did know was that the Burnsville-born winger came with rave character reviews, a track record of strong play at international tournaments (a dominant showing at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup foremost among them), and he came across as reserved in his post-draft interview.

This, of course, proved to be ironic. Everything Boeser did from that point onward was loud as could be.

In his freshman season with North Dakota, Boeser finished third in the NCAA in scoring, tearing up college hockey with 60 points across 42 games, capturing the NCAA Championship in the process. His performances were nothing short of heroic, scoring two goals in the finals to lift North Dakota over Quinnipiac University, garnering national attention.

In the years to come, Boeser would win the 2018 NHL All-Star Game’s MVP, become a finalist for the Calder Trophy in that same season, and he still sits top-10 in scoring in what is considered to be one of the greatest drafts in recent memory.

A lot has changed in the seven years since. Boeser has endured unimaginable adversity to this point in his still relatively young career, and it's clearly starting to take a toll on the ice – whether it was the tragic loss of his beloved father Duke or the non-stop injuries, he's had to go through so, so much and we shouldn't lose track of this.

He's undoubtedly still working his way back to where he was in the early stages of his career, and it’s clear from a developmental point of view that certain areas of his game have gone through a serious metamorphosis since his time with Waterloo.

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Draft Retrospective Univ. of North Dakota Vancouver Canucks Waterloo Black Hawks NHL USHL NCAA Brock Boeser
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