Photo Credit: Bob Frid - USA TODAY Sports

Why is Brock Boeser Not a Superstar?

Brock Boeser is a superstar!

Boeser’s shot is as lethal and powerful as Alex Ovechkin’s; his pinpoint accuracy mimics that of  Steven Stamkos, and when he has the puck, the entire province of British Columbia holds its breath in anticipation of fireworks in much the same way they did for the Russian Rocket all those years ago. Boeser’s fifth in the NHL with 20 goals and if he’s not the current favourite to win the Calder this season, then give it a game or two.

So, why has the NHL buried his relevancy behind around the clock Auston Matthews’ coverage, the World Junior preliminaries, and the greatest jerseys in NHL history? It’s not even an Eastern bias this time. Boeser is just another “good story” in the NHL, it seems.

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From the moment it was a foregone conclusion that the Edmonton Oilers were going to draft Connor McDavid, the league revolved around their meeting. No one could be blamed; he’s a “generational talent.” Same could be said for Matthews and his coronation into Toronto Maple Leafs royalty. The Taylor versus Tyler debate, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Stamkos, the list goes on and on and on.

Sure, Boeser wasn’t drafted first overall, and even though he plays for a major Canadian market, the team he represents has been buried at the bottom of the standings, and it’s been a few years since anything newsworthy came out of Vancouver. Sportsbook don’t list the Canucks as a contender. If you are planning to place a bet, make sure to review bodog and shop for valuable odds. 

Boeser has changed that, but only in the local media, it seems. The Flow, as he’s been coined, has already matched fellow young star Bo Horvat’s team-leading 20 goals from a season ago and is 18 points away from Bo’s 52.

It’s December 24th.

How has Brock not received more attention outside of the Vancouver market? He’s as dangerous as any of the league’s top stars though he’s played three fewer games because Canucks head coach Travis Green didn’t feel he was ready to crack the lineup in the first two games of the season. And he wasn’t even put on the top power play unit until Nov 4 against the Penguins and everyone saw what played out there!

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Brock not only has transformed the Canucks power play to one of the league’s elite but he’s transformed the entire Canucks franchise to funnel its offence through him. Everyone wondered where all the goals would come from this season and the likely answers would have been Bo Horvat, hopefully, Loui Eriksson, Thomas Vanek, and most likely the Sedins.

There has not been a player this polarizing on the Canucks since maybe Roberto Luongo, but he was a goaltender. The West Coast Express received a bunch of attention but never to the point where they had the puck, and everyone gasped in anticipation. People live and breathe with his every move.

No one outside B.C., though. When will he get his due? Would it take a season-threatening injury?

Remember this?

The season seemed to be over at that point; all was lost. The crown prince going down was the death blow to Canucks nation after a slew of injuries ran roughshod through the team’s lineup. This should have been national sports news. When Connor McDavid went into the boards in his rookie season, you would have thought the NHL would have shut down the league until his eventual return.

There wasn’t a bigger story. This was the NHL and their brightest star at the time was eliminated from every highlight reel, every story, everything. Period.

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Oh, almost forgot about this guy going down:

The NHL treats injuries like this on the same level as a lockout. It’s big news.

Boeser’s injury, however, barely registered on the radar. His unbelievable return was a sidenote in gameday stories not based in Vancouver and out of the ashes, Brock rose up and did this:

Would the Canadiens have given Crosby or McDavid that kind of time? I doubt it. No one in their right mind would let Ovechkin set up from there; local talk radio would crucify the coach if they did that. “How could you let (insert NHL superstar here) get so open and alone to take that shot?” and so on.

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How does Boeser get that kind of time and space? He’s not even close to being talked about as a superstar, and by season’s end, he could challenge for the Rocket Richard trophy, the Calder and honestly, who knows what else? Look at how he has scored his goals so far; these are goal-scorers goals.

Look through the league, and it’s all about Nikita Kucherov or John Tavares and his impressive start to the year. Brock gets nothing. He has embarrassed numerous goalies this season; he “lucked out” with a hat-trick on Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins, shot sticks out of player’s hands and felled opponents with his wrist shot.

His name falls on deaf ears, and it needs to stop. The NHL needs to wake up and anoint a new star to its collective. The stats speak for themselves and if you happen to watch the Canucks highlights, and those in itself usually aren’t that long, they involve Boeser and the next amazing thing he has done. He is doing elite, ridiculous, superstar things and the only thing that translates afterward is his stats have increased on his player page.

Honestly, this is the biggest story not being told. Remove the logo from the front of his jersey and look at the immensely talented player that he already is. When Pavel Bure came to the NHL, it took one day. The rest was history.

Heaven forbid Boeser made his way to the Leafs or the Bruins, we’d never hear the end of it. As a Canuck, we haven’t even heard the start of it. When does that begin?

Apparently, this trend will continue.

  • Puck Viking

    I hope no one talks about him until he gets signed to an 8 year deal. The more people talk the more the price is likely to go up. The money might not matter now but in 4 years when this team is turning the corner the cap is going to be a problem.

        • truthseeker

          I agree completely with you and I’m not even joking…lol. This will be an issue for the canucks and if he has multiple 30 or 40 goal seasons, it will easily put him over a 6 million player and up into 8 to 10 million per.

          Personally I don’t want that kind of salary on the team under the current system. The more top heavy the canucks get the less likely they will be able to beat teams like the Oilers. Because even with Boeser being that awesome, McDavid is still probably going to be better. (Ovi vs Crosby). The canucks need a bunch of solid producing 6 million dollar players all over the line up. That’s the method to beat the top heavy teams. Destroy their weak lines and hope to shut down or limit their top lines.

      • bobdaley44

        Slow down and take it easy. Superstar? Damn fine player but not a superstar. Not and never will be in the Crosby, Mcdavid, Mathews realm but a great pick by Benning and sorely needed addition to the lineup. Good kid to top it off.

  • Knucklehead

    Everyone seems to throw around the term “superstar” too loosely. Boeser is having a great rookie season, no doubt. He has plenty of time to earn the so called “superstar” label. Quit sniveling about how much attention he’s getting and just enjoy watching him play.

  • Killer Marmot

    At the beginning of this season, I bet someone (at 12 to 1 odds) that a Canucks player would win the Calder. I am a little worried that Boeser will lead rookie scoring and points, but be passed over for the award because he’s not with an eastern team.

  • Wise Canuck

    Tyler Myers won the Calder and everyone was jumping about in Buffalo and in the press like it was the second coming of Chara in his prime. How’s he done since… let’s see if the kid can deliver for at least three seasons in a row and then start crowing ffs.

    PS – Three no life saddos posting all through Xmas I see, Filler Marmutt, Dud Poile and loserseeker…. i ‘almost’ feel sorry for tweedle dee, tweedle dumb, and tweedle dumber…. almost.

  • andyg

    I herd one sports caster say that he was surely over achieving. The Sedins went years of leading the league and never got anywhere near the acalaides that they deserved. Until the Canucks win a cup they will never be relevant. Even that might not do it.

  • Rodeobill

    Good article, even if he takes a step back from now, he should still be in superstar discussions, but I’m glad he’s not getting covered just the same. The media pressure is rough when expectations are that high, and although the Sedins are there to help him through that, it takes time to grown under that pressure in a healthy, manageable way. Also, things get tougher when teams make game plans specifically around you, and they do against “superstars,” the longer he’s under the radar, the better, plus let’s not jinx it!

  • NeverWas

    Kids a stud and by the numbers is a borderline generational talent if he can keep this pace up. Even if hlits the same for the next couple years, God forgive us if he some how gets better but even if he regressed a bit he would still be in elite superstar status.

  • truthseeker

    I don’t know. I’ve seen his name front page over on yahoo sports and he’s been talked about in many locations. McDavid and Matthews had the number one over all draft hype on them so it’s understandable. And yeah the market has something to do with it in the case of Matthews. Who cares? This whole attitude smacks of typical Vancouver/Canadian inferiority complex type thinking.

    The way canadians feel the need to point out everything canadian to people outside of canada….the “hey look at us….we’re cool” thing. Stupid flags on backpacks type mentality. Lest, heaven forbid we be confused for americans! gasp! And now canadians are considered some of the most arrogant travelers on the planet because of our useless jingoism.

    Same thing with Vancouver/Toronto. Not sure why so many vancouverites feel the need to slag toronto or “compete” with them. It’s pretty much always one way aside from maybe the people from toronto who are in vancouver who suddenly are faced with the idea they didn’t even know existed that people in vancouver don’t like them just because they’re from toronto.

    It’s like a little kid trying to play a game and be “better than” older kids who don’t even realize the little kid is trying to play a game with them because they are just living their lives.

    Who cares if they don’t notice Brock or the Sedins or whomever. It doesn’t change what we get to see which is the amazing play of these guys. Their loss. F’ em. Things like calder trophies are nice no doubt…but they just don’t really matter. Henrik didn’t need that Hart trophy for us to know he was the best player in the league that year. If you’re not insecure, you understand that and don’t need validation from outsiders.

    • Bud Poile

      Brock’s on pace for 50 goals as a rookie,without much talent surrounding him.
      It’s early days but he’s in rare territory for any rookie,never mind a Canuck.

  • Holly Wood

    The two front runners for the Calder at this point are Boeser and Barzal from the Islanders. With Keller and McAvoy in the mix as well. This race will draw comparisons to last years Mathews/ Laine Calder chase. Boeser and Laine are gifted goal scorers but if the points are comparable voters may look at a centerman’s defensive responsibility when voting. But it’s a long way from now so let’s enjoy the ride