The Minnesota Wild is one of the NHL teams that have talked to Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser’s agent about a potential landing spot for the winger.
That’s right, his hometown club. Boeser grew up in Burnsville, about fifteen miles south of downtown Minneapolis and about a half-hour from the Wild’s home arena in downtown St. Paul.
As for the potential pressure of playing in his boyhood city, a source very close to the deliberations suggested it wouldn’t be a problem, when speaking hypothetically about a number of NHL markets being explored.
Or as one NHL GM told Vancouver Hockey Insider, “if he can play in a toxic (market) like Vancouver, he shouldn’t have a problem playing there (at home).”
That seems to be a common, widespread opinion of the situation Boeser plays in now. So why not the attention of playing in his home state?
Although he left his native Minnesota and went off to play at the University of North Dakota for two seasons starting in 2015, Boeser remains a kindred spririt with the folks and family in his native land.
As players are apt to do there, given the prominence of the annual Minnesota State Hockey Tournaments that fill the Xcel Energy Center, Boeser played high school hockey at Burnsville High before moving on to the USHL junior league before college.
The young sniper was on the radar of NHL amateur scouts early on. He was drafted by the Canucks in the 1st-round of the NHL Draft in 2015, 23rd-overall, twenty-two picks after his World Junior Championship teammate Auston Matthews was taken first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs. They earned a Bronze Medal together in that tournament.
Obviously the teams most interested in acquiring Boeser will be ones that need him. Minnesota fits the bill. They lack depth on the wing particularly on the right side. Below recently injured Mats Zuccarello in the line-up, the Wild don’t get enough offence from the likes of Ryan Hartman and Marcus Foligno. They offer ‘punch’ in the heavy Central Division, just not the scoring kind.
Boeser could be a lethal addition to work with left winger Matt Boldy, who’s having an excellent second season in the NHL.
Wild GM Bill Guerin has been and will be looking. Minnesota has a decent hold on third place in the division nearing the midway point of the season in games played. They have 47 points and trail the second place Winnipeg Jets by four with one game in hand.
The Wild also have space, to the tune of about 6-million bucks at the moment. Boeser costs $6.65-million per season for the next two. The Canucks wouldn’t be interested in retaining a part of that salary, but they could reduce what could be expected in return.
Along with losing the cap hit – they could try to get a hold of right-shot, puck moving defence prospect Brock Faber who’s playing at the University of Minnesota. 2021 1st-rounder Carson Lambos who plays for the Winnipeg Ice in the Western League is a lefty puck mover. 22-year-old rights Calen Addison is already playing with the big club.
Veteran righty D-man Matt Dumba’s name has come up in the past, but he has a 10-team no trade list and will be walking to unrestricted free agency in the summer. That would work for the Canucks as it wouldn’t affect future expenditures, but the Wild would be giving up veteran D-depth for a playoff run. A lot of pros and cons there.
That’s always the case, but in this one, Canucks to Wild for Boeser makes a lot of sense.