One of the lone bright spots for the 2017-18 Vancouver Canucks was the play of star rookie Brock Boeser. The 20 year old came out of nowhere to score 29 goals and 55 points in 62 games during his rookie season, earning himself a Calder Trophy nomination as the NHL’s top rookie.
Heading into the 2018-19 season, big things are expected from Boeser and linemate Bo Horvat, as the pair will be expected to help transition the team’s offence away from Canucks legends Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin. The Sedin twins, of course, retired this offseason after nearly 20 years with the Canucks organization. No doubt that Boeser represents a big part of the Canucks future, but with his contract expiring at the end of 2018-19, it remains to be seen how he fits into the team’s plans long-term.
According to multiple online reports, Boeser’s agent Ben Hankinson and Canucks general manager Jim Benning have begun preliminary negotiations on a potential contract extension, with no progress to report.
“We haven’t got down to talking term,” Benning said to The Province newspaper’s Ben Zuzma last week. “We plan to circle back and I’m not sure where it’s going to go, but we want to see if we can get somewhere. There’s no time frame on it.”
“Brock is going to see the best matchup line and best defensive pair, but I don’t expect a drop-off. He has pushed himself hard to pick up where he left off and there are other contracts coming up in the league in the next six months that could drive up the price — I understand that part of it.”
“But it has to make sense for everybody.”
As for Boeser, he’s mostly concerned with the matter at hand: putting the puck in the net. On TSN 1040 radio in Vancouver Boeser said, “I haven’t talked about it, or worried about it at all. I just worry about coming in, playing my game like last year. I’ll have a bigger role, so I want to come in, be a leader, work as hard as I can, and help produce.”
The most recent contract comparable for Boeser may be Detroit Red Wings youngster Dylan Larkin, who inked a five year, $30.5 million contract earlier this month that pays him just over $6 million annually. Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau’s six year, $40.5 million contract with an annual cap hit of $6.75 million also seems like a good comparable, but don’t be surprised if Boeser breaks the bank and earns himself a cool $7+ million per season on his new deal. All that has to happen now is for the two sides to start negotiations in earnest. Enough with the blinking contest already...