WWYDW: Brock Boeser

The Canucks, mercifully, gave us something to be excited about this week: they signed top prospect Brock Boeser, who made his NHL debut on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. He even scored his first goal.

Even after just two games, Boeser looks like an NHLer. There have been rumblings, however, that the Canucks would like to start him in Utica next season. Where would you like to see Boeser next year? If he makes the big club, who would you like to see as his linemates?

Last week I asked: Assuming there aren’t any major roster changes next year, who would you like to see the Sedins play with next season?

Neil B: 

I think the Sedins + Eriksson could make a very good second line that would help take the pressure off Bo’s unit. Selectively deploying Granlund there as well, when speed is at issue, could be a good option as well. I would much rather Goldie develop with Bo, if he can improve his play without the puck & generally just show a little bit more discipline.


Eriksson or Granlund appear to be the obvious choices. Eriksson has put up his worst seasons with a new team so hopefully he bounces back. The Sedins aren’t good in their own end any more, so controlling the play with Eriksson should prevent lots of goals against and will lead to offence if he has a bounce back season. Limit their minutes and match ups as well. Play Bo as the first line to see if he can play against the better players and let the Sedins roll against weaker players.


Stick Eriksson with the Sedins for the entire season but change the deployment. During the Sedins’ prime years, they were sheltered in terms of on-ice situation (always starting PP, never PK) and now we need to start sheltering them in other ways, primarily ice-time. Working from the goal out, Sutter should be taking the majority of defensive zone starts, where his north-south speed and team-leading 55% face-off percentage can be best utilized. The Sedins should still be getting most of their starts in the offensive zone, where the close confines and Eriksson in front of the crease works to their advantage.

If zone starts were broken down by player, an example would be (D/N/O):

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Horvat: 30%/20%/50%
Sutter: 70%/20%/10%
Sedin: 0%/50%/50%


Goldy; Boucher; and then maybe Dahlen. Sedins need speed, skill and ability to retrieve the puck, as well as back-check if the play goes the other way.

If Goldy is a scoring machine, then defensive capability is less of an issue if the puck is in the net. Coach would need good D out there to cover that line. Could be high risk-reward and needs a Coach who could handle that pressure.

Boucher may not trend as a first line guy, but neither are the Twins at this point. He may not be fast, but that shot fascinates with possibility. Given the passing ability of the Sedins, Boucher could be lighting it up something fierce.

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The dark horse is Dahlen — probably too young to make the jump, but his hockey IQ screams for a match-up with two players who made an impact on the game playing smart. His development playing with the Sedins would be incredible.

Bonus possibility — Biega: has speed, throws hits, defensively capable and might just pot a few goals from sheer opportunity.


Who do I want to see play with the twins next season? Isn’t there an obvious answer? Nolan Patrick.

  • Killer Marmot

    Far too often this year the Sedins got stuck in their own end, becoming defensive liabilities. They need someone fast and defensively sound — a natural penalty killer — to unstick them. But at the same time, they have to be at least competent on offense.

    Someone like Jannik Hansen or Alex Burrows.

    Oops. Okay, so who do we have who is most like that? Griffen Molino, whose signing was much disparaged, is allegedly cut from the same cloth as Hansen. But is he good enough to step into such a role? The odds are against it, but let’s see what he can do.

  • TD

    Boeser should end up playing where his play dictates. If he is ready and deserves to be on the Canucks then so be it. If he isn’t ready then he needs to go to Utica regardless of whether he is better than a fourth line plug. The Canucks need Boeser to be a top 6 forward and need to make sure his development is properly handled. So far he looks like he belongs.

    It’s too early to say who he should play with next year if he makes the Canucks. He looked okay in the first game with Bo and Baer, but the team will need to experiment to see who has chemistry.

  • apr

    Fingers crossed, but I hope something happens and Jake plays with Bo and Baer next year. Sedins with Granlund is a legit thing; and I like Brock with Sutter and Erickson. Everyone pines over Nylander and Ehjlers, but the guy the Nucks really need is Ritchie, who has 14 goals. No pushback at all last night was disconcerting, and if Jake could ever live up to his potential/skill set – he’s the type of player we really needed last night.

  • OMAR49

    One the reasons the Canucks signed Boeser was for PR. Give the fans some hope. The other reason is to see how he well he could play in the NHL. The remaining games are nothing more than a long tryout to get a better idea what his strengths and weaknesses are. From what I can see he looks NHL ready. The only reason I can see sending him to Utica is if he’s not ready to play on the 2nd or 3rd line, which at this point doesn’t appear to be the case, and is relegated to the 4th line. In the unlikely event that happens then it would be a waste of his time and he would be better off playing in Utica

  • The_Blueline

    I wanna see a 1st line of Bo, Baer, Eriksson, 2nd of Sedins, Granlund. Start Brock in Utica and call him up after a few months when injuries pile up, and after he has hopefully scored a lot.

  • Steamer

    Given the absolute free-fall of the Canucks Army team ( aka Florida Panthers ), thoughts about where a prospect should play next season – before training camp, pre-season, etc. – is a pretty ridiculous point. Expect better, but then again, given how the ex-CA staff have botched the Panthers chances, hardly surprising.

  • GoodUserName

    I think its a little too early to ask this question, but im leaning torwards the nhl. From what ive seen, I think hes just about nhl ready, and any time spent in Utica wont teach him as much as playing in the nhl. I think we definitely need to see more, but he hasnt look out of place, or lost out there from what Ive seen. Obviously I think the biggest question is what is best for his development, does time in Utica help him long term? Im not knowledgeable enough in prospect development to know, but as it stands right now i think hes basically a lock for top 9 next year, and its his job to lose.

  • Rodeobill

    Boeser already “developed” in a lesser league beyond his draft. One of the best things I have noticed about him is instant chemistry with whoever he is on with, he finds or makes space, and plays with smarts. This, combined with all the trials of job the poor guy has been through that we keep hearing about and has survived through tells me he is NHL ready. Goldy and Boucher have had their moments in these last few games, but Beoser has impressed me beyond the numbers. Him and Horvat were a few of the only people last night that didn’t look way out of their league last night and with familiarity and practice that should get even better.

    The ONLY reason to send him down would be if the Nucks were going to do like toronto and try to tank from right out the gate next season.

  • LTFan

    From the 3 games Boeser has played for the Canucks I would say he is NHL ready. Whoever he plays with will benefit from his hockey IQ. This guy is going to be close to Horvat right out of the gate next season. To get him at #23 was a steal IMO.

  • DJ_44

    From what I have seen, Boeser does not look out of place at all in the NHL. He can handle the speed of play (both physical and mental), reads the play well and gets to where he is suppose to be.

    I would be incredibly surprised is he is in the AHL, simply because I think his game is beyond that already. He looks a lot like Louie Eriksson, with more speed and a better shot…… and that is definitely a compliment.

  • Neil B

    Well, this is why we should have Boeser up this year for the last few games, to hell with contract status. He’s played well in 3 outings so far, but he’s also looked lost without the puck at times. Admittedly, those instances were mostly later in a game, so the question of lost vs gassed is legit.

    Personally, I’d like him to stay down in Utica for 2017-18, and learn to be a dominant pro at the lower level before coming up. However, the development style of this team would seem to value bottom-6 minutes in the NHL over top-6 minutes in the AHL.