Brock Boeser is still focused on hockey as the Vancouver Canucks begin training camp RS News

RS News

- Advertisement -

Brock Boeser believes this is his year.

Van Vancouver Canucks-right wing struggled last season while explaining the declining health of his father, Duke, but still managed 46 points (23 goals, 23 assists) in 71 games.

Duke Boeser died at the end of May following an extended battle with cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Read more:

NHLers have mixed feelings on jersey ads: ‘You know something like that is coming’

“Last year was obviously a very difficult year mentally and stuff. So it’s a lot different,” Brock Boeser said as the Canucks opened training camp in Whistler, BC, on Wednesday.

“Obviously, with my dad passing, there’s not much to worry about, so I can really focus on hockey…. Being able to really focus on the game now and help our team win is really exciting for me. “

Story continues below ad

After spending some much-needed time with fans over the summer, Boeser signed a three-year contract worth US$6.65 million per season in early July.

He also looks for ways to grow as a player.

“Obviously I took some time and it was packed and all that,” he said. “And then once I came back, I had a new mind and worked hard.

It was a busy summer and a fast summer, but I really got my nose in and tried to improve my game.”

Click to play video: 'One-on-one with Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau'

One-on-one with Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau

One-on-one with Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau – August 31, 2022

Now Boeser is looking to surpass a milestone: Scoring 30 goals.

The native of Burnsville, Minn., came close in 2017-18, putting up 29 goals in his rookie campaign, but has yet to meet the mark.

Story continues below ad

“This is the year,” he said. “That’s all I’ll say; it’s this year.”

Boeser’s drive to be better was on display on the first day of training camp, head coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Playing on a line with star center JT Miller and veteran left wing Tanner Pearson, Boeser isn’t shy about fighting for pucks and using his 6-foot-1, 208-pound frame to his advantage.

“In his mind, he has one year and he wants to come back here with a vengeance and be the Brock Boeser that he knows he can be,” Boudreau said.

“I see that in practices and one-on-ones, that competitiveness in the corners. It’s pretty natural to those people. “

Click to play video: 'Huberdeau, Kadri get first training camp with Calgary Flames'

Huberdeau, Kadri win 1st training camp with Calgary Flames

Huberdeau, Kadri win 1st training camp with Calgary Flames

The coach has said the lineups he’ll use in training camp are the same ones he plans to start the season with, and playing alongside Miller and Pearson won’t be anything new for Boeser.

Story continues below ad

“I think we had some good wins last year, so I’m excited to start camp with them,” Boeser said. “I think we have really good chemistry and both guys work hard.

“And I looked at those guys and they pushed me. It’s clear that they can still play well and see me in the big snow.”

The trio works well because they play a smart, simple game, Pearson said.

“If you play with Millsy, it’s obvious that he’s a guy who wants the puck a lot,” he said of the center who led the Canucks in scoring with 99 points last season.

“I play pretty straight, get the puck to him as much as possible. And, obviously, Brock is trying to find soft spots. “

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg Jets Head Coach Rick Bowness on upcoming season'

Winnipeg Jets Head Coach Rick Bowness on the upcoming season

Winnipeg Jets Head Coach Rick Bowness on the upcoming season

A career-high season from Boeser will be a boon for a Canucks team that believes it is on the verge of making the playoffs.

Story continues below ad

Vancouver missed the post-season last year, finishing five points out of a playoff spot with a 40-30-12 record.

Missing the playoffs this year will be “1,000 percent” sad, Boeser said, wearing a shirt emblazoned with “unfinished business” and the Canucks logo.

“I think we set the bar last year when (Boudreau) came in. That’s like our main focus, take it week by week and our biggest goal is to make the playoffs,” he said.

“And unfortunately, we ran out of time, but we picked up where we left off and we all know we need to make the playoffs this year, at least. There is no excuse.

“I think we’re all ready for that job and we’re all excited to get the season going.”

Click to play video: 'Calgary Wranglers become Fire' new AHL affiliate

The Calgary Wranglers become a brand new AHL affiliate

The Calgary Wranglers become the Fire’s newest AHL affiliate – August 5, 2022

© 2022 The Canadian Press



Most Popular