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10’s of Options Draft Profile: Matt Boldy

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?

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.

 

 

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?

 

  • LemonHart

    My gut tells me that he will be gone by the time the Canucks draft, but one never truly knows. With his combination of speed, skill, and size he seems like a can’t miss prospect that would look very good on of the top two lines, albeit likely two down the road.

    P.S. accel means to speed up versus excel which means to be exceptionally good at or proficient at something. Good article though and I’m looking forward to the rest.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    “one thing I have learned from watching this USNTDP play is that the games are not physical at all”…. Watching the playoffs this year, this fact is slightly worrying.

    • It’s not to say that Boldy is soft, its just the competition is just a bit soft, these USNTDP guys don’t seemed to get hit a lot due to there not really being a rivalry between them and say the “Harvard or Bowling Green State University” these schools don’t need to crush these 17 year old kids. It’s fun hockey to watch but just lacks that physicality that makes hockey what it truly is and like you said watching the playoffs this year it looks like a different set of rules than these USNTDP games almost.

    • Locust

      I would agree BeerCan – USNTDP games are like tea parties compared to WHL games. This years playoffs, once again, shows the need for the ‘intangibles’ of toughness, will, determination and heart in all your players. Stats are just a tool, sometimes not a very sharp one.

  • wojohowitz

    It`s too bad the Canucks are picking 10th because there appears to be a half dozen high impact players available (including Caufield and Boldy) but after that the next 10 to 15 picks look like solid 2nd and 3rd liners but not potential all-stars. I`m thinking one of Krebs, Cozens or Newhook will be just fine but Benning could decide he knows what an 18 year old defenceman can do in 4 or 5 years like he did with Juolevi while 21 year old Tkachuk just scored 34 goals and has a great future.

    • j2daff

      I think this is a really weird draft. There are easily 15 forwards who look like they could easily become high impact players but you can question parts of all their games (aside from Kacko and Hugh degree of this but it just seems to be more so this year which might be why we are seeing the rankings of the top 15 or so players is so different from one ranking to the next.

      As for defencemen, after Byram I don’t think any should go in the top ten with Broberg being the most likely if one does. I don’t necessarily think he is the second best defenceman in the draft but he may have the highest possible ceiling. Although he may, there is no way Benning should reach for a dman at 10, there are comparable dman ranked 20-40, one of which will likely fall to 40.

    • I think we’re in a decent position. After Hughes and Kakko, the rankings suggest that the next tier of players ends at #10. Assuming the rankings are reliable, we’ll get the last of the “real good” tier. If someone goes off the board, it only improves the selection of good players with Top 6 potential. I just hope they stay away from Podkolzin.

  • rediiis

    The draft is fluid and I am sure the Canucks have a top ten list. I really don’t care about the first rounder, they should get a solid pick. The second and third could be packaged to get another 1st rounder. The could also sell some assets to move into the 1st round. This draft is in Vancouver and it would be wise to look intelligent JB. Go buy some rose colored glasses.

  • TD

    Boldy looks like a good option with Boeser and Pettersson. Caufield looks good too, but I see him being a better fit with Horvat and Pearson. Especially in the playoffs, I think Boldy makes a better linemate to balance the size on the line.

    • canuckfan

      The problem with building through the draft it is such a slow process as most players won’t be on the NHL team for another couple years at the earliest. We were lucky that Quinn Hughes just wanted to make the NHL rather than playing in college getting an education. So if we are trading players they should be traded for a player who can make the team next year.

  • Spiel

    Those USNTDP numbers are bit hard to put in context. For instance Kane and Eichel were in their draft minus one seasons. Is Boldy more like them or like a Sonny Milano (2014 1st rounder) who put up better numbers than Boldy and has yet to establish himself in the NHL. The pre-draft rankings that are out make it pretty clear that the Canucks will be in a place to pick a forward. I also wonder about taking Boldy, a pure winger, versus someone who is a center if everything else is equal.

  • Fred-65

    Frankly I don’t mind players from the National Dev Prog. most head off to the NCAA and with the Canucks record, they have had great success from the NCAA. We get more and better players as a rule from the NCAA. A close second is the SEL. Both these leagues have an older group of players, unlike the CHL which spans the 16-20-year-old. I’d really like to see Trevor Zegras in a Vcr uniform, it’s hard to look past high end skill