Scouting Report: Brock Boeser Leads Vancouver Canucks into Nationwide Arena

By Kyle Morrison on January 12, 2018 at 7:10 am
Brock Boeser takes his lethal shot to Columbus tonight for a battle with the Blue Jackets

USA Today Sports – Bob Frid

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Columbus Blue Jackets (25-17-3) vs. Vancouver Canucks (16-21-6)

FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2018, 7 p.m. (NATIONWIDE ARENA)

It's really hard to believe that this team was a powerhouse just a few years ago, but things have not been pretty for the Vancouver Canucks over the past couple of years. Hell, things have been downright ugly for this squad lately, as they have not seen the win column yet in 2018, losers of five games in a row.

Still, though, as long as there are Sedins on the ice for Vancouver, there's a chance for their opponent to walk away disappointed. 

Gone are the days of each twin being a Hart Trophy candidate, but Daniel and Henrik are still plying their craft at age 37. They're doing it well, too, with 28 and 29 points, respectively, through 43 games.

Those two – and wunderkind Brock Boeser – aren't enough to keep the Canucks afloat, though. Even in a weak Pacific Division, they're lagging behind, ahead of only the lowly Arizona Coyotes in the standings. After picking fifth overall in the last two drafts, they're seemingly on their way to another similarly high pick. 

You Oughta Know: Brock Boeser

A dark horse Calder candidate coming into the season, Brock Boeser has emerged as the frontrunner, and it's easy to see why.

Still just 20 years old, the former North Dakota standout has absolutely lit up the NHL so far, to the tune of 22-18-40 in 40 games. Just four players in the entire league have more goals than Boeser, who looks to be the biggest building block this team has as they look to the future. Drafted 23rd overall in the 2016 draft, he's been followed in the pipeline by two much higher picks (both fifth overall) in Olli Juoveli and Elias Pettersson. 

Fast Facts
  • One sad fact here – former Blue Jacket Derek Dorsett retired earlier this season due to injuries, but he was off to the best start of his career for the Canucks this season, with 7 goals in 20 games. 
  • The Canucks have two former Jackets on the roster in Sam Gagner and Michael Chaput. Gagner's had some success this year, with 19 points in 43 games.
Previous Matchups

THIS YEAR: First meeting
ALL TIME SERIES: Jackets trail 19-27-2-7 

Keys to the Game

ONE: Hit the bye week strong. A back-to-back is always a daunting task, but after dropping a game against the not-so-great Buffalo Sabres last night, the Jackets need the two points here desperately. 

TWO: Pick up Panarin. Artemi Panarin was a one-man wrecking crew last night, but he hit the post three times. The Jackets need some sustained offense from other sources, and Alexander Wennberg's return could help that.

THREE: Shut down Boeser. It's strange to say, given that he's a 20-year-old playing on a different line than the Sedins, but he's the biggest source of offense by far for this Canucks team. Keeping him contained could be the difference between hitting the break strong and going into the bye searching for answers.  

Team Projected Lineup

Forwards
# Player Stats # Player Stats # Player Stats
26 Thomas Vanek 43 GP, 12-17-29 89 Sam Gagner 43 GP, 7-12-19 6 Brock Boeser 40 GP, 22-18-40
22 Daniel Sedin 43 GP, 10-18-29 33  Henrik Sedin 43 GP, 2-27-29 60  Markus Granlund 42 GP, 7-3-10
47 Sven Baertschi 32 GP, 8-10-18 50 Brendan Gaunce 26 GP, 1-1-2 77 Nickolay Goldobin 13 GP, 2-2-4
21 Loui Eriksson 31 GP, 5-8-13 17 Nic Dowd 13 GP, 1-0-1 18 Jake Virtanen  38 GP, 5-4-9
Defensive Pairs
# Player Stats # Player Stats
27 Ben Hutton 39 GP, 0-6-0 8 Chris Tanev 27 GP, 2-4-6
23 Alexander Edler 31 GP, 1-10-11 51 Troy Stetcher 29 GP, 1-2-3
4 Michael Del Zotto 43 GP, 2-11-13 44 Erik Gudbranson 30 GP, 0-2-2
Goaltenders
# Player GS W-L-OL GAA SV% SO
25 Jacob Markstrom 29 10-14-5 2.77 .908 1
31 Anders Nilsson 14 6-7-1 3.57 .901 2


 

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