The Vancouver Canucks have to make decisions on three key players with expiring contracts in the next 12 months.
J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat, and Brock Boeser are all among the best players on the team and will be looking to sign expensive, long-term deals. Out of those three players, Boeser is perhaps the hardest for the Canucks to evaluate, due to his injury history and potential as a goal scorer.
Drafted late in the first round of the famous 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Boeser has wowed Canucks fans with his precise shot ever since he first stepped on the ice. However, he hasn’t made much positive progression during his NHL career thus far, leaving fans to wonder if he will ever make that next step.
Boeser possesses some great raw tools. When healthy, his shot is elite as he can pick corners with relative ease. On the other hand, his skating isn’t elite and his slow foot speed can occasionally be exposed. Boeser signed a $17.625 million / three-year contract in 2019. The contract was meant to act as a bridge deal that would allow the two sides to renegotiate when there was a larger sample size to evaluate the winger.
Advertisement
Ad
However, after suffering multiple injuries that would keep him away from the ice, and sometimes affect his performance when he returned, it’s still unclear as to whether Boeser will take another step into a 30-goal scorer. He also has had to deal with a tough family situation in recent seasons as his father’s health declined. Duke Boeser was a Vancouver favorite who tragically passed away from cancer recently at the age of 61.
All of this makes it difficult to assess how much Boeser’s next contract will be worth, as well as how much term he will be given. He does have a $7.5 million qualifying offer this offseason that would be a tough pill for the Canucks to swallow. However, it seems likely that both sides will work towards a long-term solution at a cheaper price as it carries benefits for both the team and the player.
Advertisement
Ad

Three comparables for Brock Boeser

Here are three players that are comparable to the current situation that Brock Boeser is in.

Ondrej Palat – $5.3 million AAV for 5 years

When Ondrej Palat when to sign his latest contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, he already had four seasons with at least 0.64 points per game. Boeser has done it five times but is coming off the worst season of his career in what was a concerning step backward.
The different tax situations in Florida and Vancouver mean that the take-home pay for the two players would be drastically different, even with the same cap hit. Thus, Boeser would be looking for more than what Palat got, especially considering his stronger goal-scoring numbers and high-end skill.

Johnny Gaudreau – $6.75 million AAV for 6 years

While Gaudreau just turned in one of the best seasons of his career and is among the top wingers in the league, when he signed this deal that was far from a certainty. However, he had just scored almost a point-per-game in what was only his second full NHL season.
Advertisement
Ad
Gaudreau had more potential than Boeser at this point, but Boeser does have a longer resume. While this year was disappointing, Boeser has scored at a 30-goal pace multiple times in the past. It’s not hard to imagine him taking a step forward with a little bit more consistency in the situation around him.

Jake Guentzel – $6 million AAV for 5 years

Jake Guentzel signed this extension midway through a season in which he would score 40 goals, far more than Boeser has ever scored. Guentzel was coming off his ELC instead of a bridge deal like Boeser but is comparable as a winger with similar enough scoring stats.
Guentzel’s contract looks great now that he’s scored 40 goals multiple times,  but the Penguins couldn’t have known that fact when they inked the deal. If Boeser can take a similar step, his contact may turn out to be a similar steal.
Advertisement
Ad

Our contract projection

Considering the money that these other players got, we think it’s likely that the Canucks and Boeser agree on a longer team deal. This would give Boeser more long-term security and allow the Canucks to avoid the $7.5 million qualifying offer.
A contract between the Canucks and Boeser could look something like $6.125 million per year for 6 years. This would value Boeser as a low-end first-line winger or high-end second-line winger, somewhere around his role on a strong team.
What do you think a Boeser extension might look like?

 

More from CanucksArmy: