Canucks' first-rounder Boeser shows scoring touch with hat trick

 

 
 
 
 
Brock Boeser poses after being selected 23th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.
 
 

Brock Boeser poses after being selected 23th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.

Photograph by: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

More on This Story

 

There have been no hat tricks from the Vancouver Canucks yet — heck, no one has scored more than two goals this season — but prospect Brock Boeser already has one.

Boeser made his home-ice debut with the University of North Dakota an impressive one this past Saturday when he scored three goals in a 5-2 win over Bemidji State.

Boeser, the 18-year-old Minnesota native selected 23rd overall by the Canucks in this past summer’s NHL Entry Draft, said the atmosphere was electric at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

“It was an unreal experience,” Boeser said in a telephone interview Monday. “It was sold out, almost 12,000 fans there. The place was rocking, to say the least. The game went as planned and we played really well as a team.”

Boeser said it was North Dakota’s rich college hockey tradition that helped convince him to commit to the school.

“The tradition here is unreal,” he said. “It’s one of the top in the country and the facilities are great. They just redid some of the facilities last year and just having that workout room and locker-room, lounge area, just having all that is definitely a nice benefit on top of everything else.”

Boeser said he’s getting adjusted to college life.

“Overall it has been going good. Obviously there is a lot more homework than high school, but it has been going well and the hockey part has been going well, too.”

North Dakota is undefeated — with two wins and two ties — after its opening four games.

Boeser’s hat trick was the first by a North Dakota freshman since T.J. Oshie accomplished the feat back in 2005.

“There were a few hats out there on the ice,” he said. “It was definitely a great experience.”

LOTS OF COMPANY: The struggles of Radim Vrbata have been well chronicled in recent days, but he certainly is not the only member of the Vancouver Canucks not living up to offensive expectations.

Captain Henrik Sedin has just two points in his first six games. That’s one less than fourth-liner Brandon Prust, who is playing roughly eight minutes a night less than Henrik.

Fellow centre Bo Horvat has just one point in six games, a power-play goal in Vancouver’s home-opener against Calgary on Oct. 10. Horvat had a terrific pre-season for the Canucks, further raising already lofty expectations for the second-year player.

Thrust into a top-six role, Horvat has struggled to produce and he and Vrbata failed to find much on-ice chemistry. Coach Willie Desjardins finally split them up Sunday as Horvat skated with Sven Baertschi and Jake Virtanen in Vancouver’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Oilers, while Vrbata — no points in six games — played on a line with Brandon Sutter and Alex Burrows.

Horvat knows he is under the gun to produce offensively.

“For me, just not worrying about that I think is my biggest thing,” Horvat said on Sunday. “The more I worry about it the more it seems to backfire. I think if I just go and play my game and let the game come to me instead of trying to force things it’s going to benefit me and the team.

“Obviously, you are expected to put up numbers in a top-six role and last year I was just expected to play well defensively and try not to get scored on. This year, you have a little more leeway, I guess you could say, to try different things offensively and so far I have had tons of opportunities. Things aren’t going in for me right now, but eventually things will turn around.”

ALMOST FULL: Through their first three home games, the Canucks are still looking for their first sellout at Rogers Arena. But they have been close to capacity in all three games.

The seating capacity at Rogers Arena has dropped to 18,630 from 18,910 this season due to changes made to accommodate additions like a new sports bar.

Attendance for the first three home games has been 18,570 versus Calgary in the home-opener on Oct. 10, 18,362 versus St. Louis on Friday and 18,261 versus Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.

ICE CHIPS: The Canucks had the day off Monday and are scheduled to practise both today and Wednesday at UBC before meeting the Washington Capitals on Thursday at Rogers Arena.

bziemer@vancouversun.comTwitter.com/bradziemer

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Brock Boeser poses after being selected 23th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.
 

Brock Boeser poses after being selected 23th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.

Photograph by: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

 
Brock Boeser poses after being selected 23th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.
Brock Boeser poses after being selected 23th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.
SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Brock Boeser poses for a portrait after being selected 23rd overall by the the Vancouver Canucks during Round One of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice