Brock Boeser has played 22 games under Travis Green and 21 under Bruce Boudreau, and he has had more success under the new regime than the old one. Here is a breakdown of what has gone right in the last 21 games and why he is worth the $7.5 million qualifying offer the Vancouver Canucks will have to give him as a restricted free agent this offseason.
Boeser Shooting More
Under Boudreau, Boeser has seen his shooting percentage double from 7.1% to 14.3%. As a result, his production has increased from four goals and 10 points in his first 22 games to 10 goals and 17 points in the last 21 games. Through his first 22 games, he registered 56 shots on goal, which is 2.55 shots per game. Since the coaching change, he has 70 shots in 21 games for 3.33 shots per game. He has also never had a game under the new coach where he has not registered at least one shot on goal and has registered at least four shots eight times. In comparison, he had over four shots in a game five times under Green while also registering two zero-shot games.
A big reason why Boeser has seen an increase in shots is he is being utilized correctly on the power play. Under Boudreau, and since he was moved back onto the first power-play unit, he leads the Canucks in power-play shots on goal with 23. That is 10 more shots than he registered under Green in 22 games. He is getting more ice time per game (3:28 to 3:11) and is one of the few Canucks who seems to generate traffic towards the net on the power play. He looks rejuvenated, especially on the power play and seems to have recaptured his form where he recorded 179 shots in 62 games before getting hurt.
Chemistry With Pettersson
Elias Pettersson and Boeser have had great chemistry since entering the league. Between the 2018-19 season and the 2020-21 season, the two had played over 1450 minutes at five-on-five and had a 52.97% Corsi for. They were an elite duo, with the addition of J.T. Miller making them one of the best lines in the league.
Although the “6-40-9” line, as they are called, hasn’t worked out this season, Boeser and Pettersson have shown they still have chemistry. They have played 238 minutes together for a 55.75% Corsi at five-on-five. They are also outshooting the opposition, but the big difference is both players have had trouble finding the back of the net.
It is a good sign that stats show the two play well together despite not playing on a line as consistently as they have in the past. There is a lot of trade chatter about Miller, and if he is traded, Boeser will need to find a new center. He could with Horvat, but the most logical spot would be for him to play alongside Pettersson and with Vasily Podkolzin on the opposite wing. Both players play right-wing – so Boudreau would have to move one to the opposite side – but this line has the potential to be dynamic for years to come and should get Canuck fans excited for the future.
Boeser Should Be Re-Signed, Not Traded
Based on how he has played under Boudreau, his age and skill set, Boeser is worth the $7.5 million qualifying offer this summer and should be signed to a long-term deal. If the Canucks can negotiate a cheaper contract, even better, but they should hold onto him for as long as possible. He will turn 25 at the end of February and is starting to hit the prime years of his career. He has the potential to be one of the league’s best goal scorers, and with players like Pettersson and Quinn Hughes feeding him the puck, he could close in on Daniel Sedin’s all-time franchise record by the end of his Canuck career.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at area51sportsnet.com where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.