Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brutal Honesty: Summer Chat with Travis Green Pushed Canucks Rookie Brock Boeser

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Brutal Honesty: Summer Chat with Travis Green Pushed Canucks Rookie Brock Boeser

Article excerpt

Coach's summer chat pushed Canucks' Boeser

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VANCOUVER - Travis Green pulled Brock Boeser aside at the Vancouver Canucks' development camp in early July for a frank and honest discussion.

During the course of that talk, the first-year head coach explained in no uncertain terms what the rookie winger needed to work on in order to have a chance of sticking in the NHL this season.

"I was brutally honest with him," Green recalled.

The owner of a lethal shot -- perhaps already the best on the team -- there were concerns about the 20-year-old's skating skills, his play away from the puck, and attention to detail.

"We had a serious conversation," said Boeser. "It set the tone for the rest of the summer."

The Burnsville, Minn., native took the constructive criticism as a challenge and hasn't looked back, leading the Canucks in scoring with seven goals and 10 assists despite sitting out three of Vancouver's first 20 games -- two as a healthy scratch to open the campaign and another because of injury.

Selected 23rd overall at the 2015 draft, Boeser played two dominant years at the University of North Dakota before joining the Canucks at the tail end of a forgettable 2016-17 season, registering four goals and an assist in nine meaningless games.

But when Green looked at Boeser's performances after taking the Vancouver job, he could see the sniper's natural ability had allowed him to cut corners in college, something that hasn't been the case since he returned for training camp in September.

"Give him credit," said Green. "He's played well away from the puck. That's the sign of a real smart player that understands that for him to play and to play a lot of minutes, he can't just rely on his shot or his play inside the other team's blue line.

"I know he can create offence, but he's been smart and detailed in other areas."

Boeser agreed that consistency in the defensive zone is the one of the main reasons he's been able to stay in the lineup, especially early in the season.

"You have to work on the little things like chipping the puck out and winning your board battles," he said. "Those are some things I've been focusing on."

The latest example of Boeser's maturing skill set came in Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss at home to St. …

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