There has been one name that has been in everyone’s mouth at some point when it comes to who the Vancouver Canucks should consider with their tenth overall pick in this upcoming NHL entry draft. That name is Matt Boldy, the positional need draws as a great fit for the Canucks as they are lacking in top six scoring players at the left wing position and Boldy has proven that he can fit in with elite talent.
So why should the Vancouver Canucks take Matthew Boldy?
Because it's a Bold pick
— Josh The Zamboni Guy (@JoshZamboniGuy) May 15, 2019
To Boldy go where no one has gone before
— lindsey mason (@fishdancer) May 15, 2019
So we can have a Goldy and Boldy line obviously.
— Jordan #Angeletties RIP Botch (@CanuckJordan) May 15, 2019
He’s more than a fun name though, Matt Boldy stands at 6’2″ and fills out that frame with about 195 pounds of all-American hockey talent. He played this year alongside some highly touted prospects on the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP).
He looks like a giant when playing with Cole Caufield and yet still finds a way to look very fluid with his skating, this is very noticeable when Boldy makes the snap decision to accelerate up ice for an offensive zone rush, his first three steps are very powerful and it’s clear that his stride is something he has worked on to bring his game to the next level.
The offensive ability is where he does excel and though a lot of people have made him out to be the big power forward that the Canucks need I think he is very much more of a shot first skilled winger. He has a quick trigger shot that he loves to fire from the right side. The net front presence was something that he wasn’t necessarily asked to do on the powerplay this year but I do see the chance of him being in that centre ice “bumper” position on an NHL powerplay.
Though he did get time with the first unit at times on the powerplay this season he was more regularly used as the trigger man on the second unit. The powerplay would shade to the left side and leave open space for Boldy to walk in with a wrist shot or have the chance to rip a one timer if there was enough space. It was good to see his awareness on the ice and being able to fluidly rotate with the powerplay.
Being a bigger player with quick hands is tough to find in a prospect but Boldy has some very silky moves where he also seems to incorporate his feet into some of his dekes and battles. When in board battles he tends to tie up the defenders stick and with his size is able to control where the puck moves and then can kick a pass out to an open player.
Boldy can play both wings, when he was on a line with Alex Turcotte and Cole Caufield he was lining up on the right side during faceoffs but when watching the breakout from the defensive zone you would often see Caufield on the right wing and Boldy typically as the streaking winger down the left side. As I mentioned earlier I want to stress that those first three strides he takes when the puck is transitioning from the defensive zone to the offensive attack is tremendous, you can see the power in those steps and it creates plenty of odd man rushes, especially when paired up with Cole Caufield.
There is no fear in Boldy’s game when it comes to driving to the net, he can lean on defenders and then like to finished with tucking the puck on the far side of the goaltender but can also realize when they isn’t enough space to make it across the crease in front of a defender and then like to raise the puck over the goaltender’s short side shoulder. This move resulted in many scoring chances and a lot of easy finishes for Caufield, Turcotte and even a couple for Sean Farrell.
Upgrade on JV18. Makes him movable for a high end dman.
— Gilligan's Isle (@Uytdeman) May 15, 2019
Boldy right now seems to be an upgrade on Virtanen and if I had to bet a 20 on who would be the most productive NHL player I would probably side with Uytdeman on this one but Boldy doesn’t have the outright speed that Shotgun possesses. Though the first few strides that I talked about earlier look like they have as much power as an NHL speedster.
One thing that could be a product of his environment could be his passing ability, one thing I have learned from watching this USNTDP play is that the games are not physical at all, it does give these players an extra second to make that pass or try the extra deke. Though I don’t think that physically dealing with larger players will be a problem for Boldy it would have been interesting to see him in a more physical league like the WHL, we will see more of that next year with Boston College in his first NCAA season.
The passing ability is there, he finds a way to almost reset the shot clock with a spin move on the rush and finds an open man in the deep corner of the offensive zone for a back door gimme goal.
Boldy scored a total of 62 goals in his USDP career, that puts him 8th in team history, just a few back of Jack Eichel. His career points and goals per game rank up there with some current NHL stars and towers over former USNTDP star Tyler Motte.
There were some negatives that deserve to pointed out, Boldy doesn’t skate incredibly hard on backchecks, but when your winning most of your games 11-3 does anyone really backcheck with authority? He does struggle at times trying to do that one extra deke where he will lose the puck in his feet or have a defender knock the puck off of his stick.
When he is driving down the wing with a lean on a defender, he is at his best, that move was also how Jake Virtanen because such a high draft pick, well that and some other things. Boldy seems like a perfect match to play with Pettersson and Boeser down the road but as many of these other USNTDP players he is likely a few years away from making his NHL debut and with the team that Boston College is going to put out this year I would not expect to see Boldy get the opportunity to come out of school early to have a handful of NHL games at the end of the 2019-20 season.
There is so much to love about this kid’s game and though I have been pumping Victor Soderstrom’s tires for the last few months at the number 10 spot I do have much more time for Matthew Boldy after diving into game footage of him. He’s starting to change my mind a bit but I will be coming up with a few more of these type of prospect profiles over the next few weeks and there will definitely be a Soderstrom one, I gotta roll with my boy.
Is Matt Boldy a top line winger in your eyes or just another fun name to have on the squad?
so I can call him Mikolay Boldobin
— Justin Morissette 👊🏻 (@JustinMoris) May 15, 2019