New sporty look, Boeser in search of consistency – .

New sporty look, Boeser in search of consistency – .

ABBOTSFORD, BC – In the NHL’s four dead seasons since breaking into the Vancouver Canucks straight out of college, Brock Boeser has treated serious injuries to his wrist and chest. back, became thinner and stronger, improved the speed of his foot and continuously, relentlessly. , worked obsessively on his shot.
But perhaps none of these changes are as big as the one Boeser unveiled this week at training camp: He cut his hair.

OK, this is not a Marine Corps short, nor a Thatcher Demko short. You can still advertise a shampoo with slow-motion footage of Boeser combing his hair.

But her wavy blonde locks are as short as they’ve been in years, jeopardizing Boeser’s nickname among fans as “The Flow.”

“Oh, there’s flow,” Boeser insisted on Saturday, removing his cap to prove there’s still volume at the top. “It’s just a short flow.

“I cut it short just because I didn’t want to have my hair cut for a while. It was pretty long during the summer, and then like two days before I left (Minnesota), I cut it shorter for a while.

No one was more stunned than his stylist, who first cut the winger’s hair in a Great Clips in Burnsville, Minnesota when Boeser was around 12.

“She was shocked,” Boeser explained. “I said, ‘I’d like to take two inches off.’ She started by taking an inch and a half. She didn’t trust me.

The Canucks do it.

Drafted in 2015 from the University of North Dakota, Boeser became one of the first building blocks of the Canucks’ rebuilding when he scored four times in his first nine NHL games at the end of the season. 2016-17. He has accumulated 205 points in 244 games since then and, amid the chaos of last season in Vancouver, was the Canucks’ top forward, finishing with 23 goals and 49 points in 56 games.

Boeser was one of the few players who was not affected by the COVID-19 outbreak that crushed the team in April, likely, he said, because he had contracted the virus in last November during American Thanksgiving at home.

At 24 and about to begin the final season of the three-year, $ 17.6 million bridge deal he signed at training camp two years ago, Boeser is already third at the Canucks behind captain Bo Horvat and veteran Brandon Sutter.

“It’s crazy,” Boeser said at the end of the team’s three-day training camp in Abbotsford. “I mean, I know it’s year 5 for me and there have been two COVID years, but to be the third longest holder, it shows how much we’ve handed our team over and got different guys in training and in this organization.

“I’m pretty excited for this year and I’m motivated enough to have a solid year after last year and be more consistent. I think that’s an important thing: consistency. I thought I had a pretty good year last year, but there are some of those nights where you feel bad or you feel like you could be better for the team. This is something I really thought about. If I can bring this game every night. … I think this will help our team.

Boeser has never seemed more important to the Canucks than he is now, as his founding friends and teammates Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are away from camp, training together in Michigan while their agent, Pat Brisson, tries to negotiate new contracts with General Vancouver. director Jim Benning.

Boeser said he spoke to his teammates on Friday, who were pictured together on Saturday at the University of Michigan soccer game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Around the time the Canucks were wrapping up camp.

“Obviously it’s tough for them, but I’m happy they are skating together,” said Boeser. “I really didn’t ask them too many questions about (their contracts), I just let them handle this on their own. I don’t get overly curious, just make sure they skate hard and they’ll be in good shape when they get here. We’ve had three tough, tough days here and every time they sign they have to come here and be ready to go.

Boeser spent training camp training on a new line with left winger Nils Höglander and center Nic Petan, who did well to replace Pettersson at center.

With front row left-winger JT Miller moved to center, a move that could survive a return from Pettersson, Höglander was promoted by coach Travis Green to the top unit.

Professional hockey players are great at focusing on their job – most are just trying to win or keep one – but the roster holes left by Pettersson and Hughes will get bigger and darker as the Canucks rise. move closer to their first game of the season on October 13.

Green will take a young team to Spokane, Wash., To open the Canucks’ preseason schedule Sunday against the Seattle Kraken, before dressing a more experienced roster for Monday’s exhibition game against the Calgary Flames in Abbotsford.

“I think now when we start playing preseason games and we know they’re not there, I think that’s when we’re going to start to notice it a little bit more. Boeser said of Pettersson and Hughes’ absence. “Obviously it’s hard not to have them here because they’re two of our best players and we want to build that chemistry (as a team), and the coaches want to build that chemistry. Unfortunately, that’s how it should be, I guess.

• The worst moment of training camp came in last training session on Saturday when minor league defenseman Brady Keeper suffered what appeared to be a serious left leg injury. Moaning in pain, Keeper lay on the ice for several minutes before being stretched out on a stretcher and taken to the hospital, his leg immobilized in a splint. The Canucks have not given any initial details about his condition.

Keeper only appeared two games in the NHL, but the Canucks wanted it in their organization enough to lure the Florida Panthers free agent to B.C. on a two-year contract with a one-way contract paying 762,500. $ US annually. The 25-year-old from Cross Lake, Man., Has had a solid training camp and the chance to become a big part of the right side of the defense due to the continued and unexplained absence of Travis Hamonic.

• Like most coaches, Green usually chooses his words carefully when publicly evaluating a young player, but was blunt when asked about former fifth overall pick Olli Juolevi and his side: “I don’t think he did himself a favor. “

Juolevi, who spent last season with the Canucks, was almost revived at the end of Green’s conditioning test on Thursday, and more than three days were dominated by Jack Rathbone and Brad Hunt in the battle for a place on the left side near the bottom of the Canucks defense.

• Although promising Russian rookie Vasily Podkolzin has attracted much more attention, Belarusian draft selection Danila Klimovich has had an eye-opening camp, showing there is already a lot more to her game than a puck-hitting ability. . The 18-year-old winger, selected 41st in July with Vancouver’s first pick, shone on a line with Matthew Highmore and Justin Dowling, another free-standing agent acquisition at depth that has a chance to move up the depths table .

• Despite his excellent rookie season, Höglander was frequently a target for the coaching staff last winter because the 20-year-old with limited English was the Canuck most likely to miss drills during training. Höglander seems to have overcome this loophole.

“He sort of knows our systems now, so… he doesn’t mess up the exercises, so it’s big enough for Hogs,” Boeser joked. “I guess that’s probably the biggest difference: he doesn’t get us going. “


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