He is not only the first UND sophomore to wear an ‘A’ on his sweater since Jonathan Toews; his point totals last season (27 goals and 33 assists for 60 points in 42 games) put him among the ranks of his predecessors who rose to become NHL all-stars.
But Boeser isn’t in any rush to join them in the NHL just yet.
We sat down with the Burnsville native, who is focused on developing his all-around game, taking a leadership role in Grand Forks and copying T.J. Oshie’s shootout moves.
Minnesota Hockey Journal // You had quite the freshman year. What was your favorite moment during the season?
Brock Boeser // Winning the national championship at the end of the year—that whole experience at the Frozen Four was just unbelievable. And then seeing all the guys’ faces after the game and the fans that were there was the coolest thing. It was a surreal moment for everyone.
MHJ // You scored four points in the title game. How do you deal with pressure in those types of situations or big games?
Boeser // I didn’t feel too much pressure going into the game. Our whole team looked at it the same way. It was the last game of the year, so we wanted to give it our all there. I was just trying to focus on playing my game, and got a few lucky bounces to get some points. The pressure wasn’t too intimidating and I just wanted to go out there and work my hardest.
MHJ // Any advice for younger kids in
Boeser // Don’t think about the pressure. Just go out there and work your hardest. Just have fun.
MHJ // Any tips for kids who want to score more goals?
Boeser // Just continue to work hard. For me, growing up, I just always loved playing the game and worked hard and wanted to get better. Just enjoy everything about hockey. That’s how I think I developed as a young athlete.
MHJ // What made you decide to return for your sophomore season after accomplishing so much in your first year at UND?
Boeser // I think just this North Dakota staff and the Vancouver Canucks organization. I think we all thought it would be beneficial for me to come back to school to develop more. Just being 19 and still young, I can mature more and improve in different aspects of my game.
MHJ // How important is a college education to you and how much did that affect your decision to come back?
Boeser // Yeah, that’s definitely important to my family and me. Whenever I leave, I know I’m going to get my degree at some point in my life; so obviously that was a big reason why I stayed.
MHJ // How have you seen your game develop in just one year of playing at the college level?
Boeser // I think this year I definitely feel more comfortable right off the start. I think this year I definitely have a different role. I’m more of a leader in a way. So just taking on this aspect of it has helped me develop so far.
MHJ // You’ve mentioned T.J. Oshie has an influence on your style of play. How do you think you try and model him?
Boeser // When it comes to shootouts, I try and do his moves in a way. Obviously I’m not nearly as good as him, but I try to model it (laughs). He can do like three or four different moves in his same style of coming up to the goalie. I watch video on him doing those moves and I copy it as best I can.
MHJ // Have you ever reached out to him for advice or talked to him about it?
Boeser // I skate with him during summers back home, so I just watch him there on the ice and try and learn from him.
Toughest player you’ve
ever played against?
What makes Minnesota
I’d have to say community, fun and love of the game.
If there were a movie about your life, who would play
you, and why?
I’d have to say one of my best friends from Burnsville that I grew up with, Sam Dockry. He’s hilarious and he can reenact the stuff I do pretty spot on.
Have you ever finished a
game of Monopoly?
No, I don’t think I ever have!
Legos or Lincoln Logs?
I was definitely a Legos
kind of kid.
What’s your order at Grand Forks’ famous Red Pepper?
They’re called Schneiders. It’s a taco with all the sauces on it. So I get a couple of those and some cheese tostadas. It's kind of a secret thing.
MHJ // Is there anyone else you look up to?
Boeser // When I was going through the whole draft process a year and a half ago, I always looked up to Kyle Okposo. And of course I think there’s a little bit of Oshie in me, too.
MHJ // Do you remember the first time you stepped on the ice as a kid?
Boeser // I believe I was 2 years old when I first skated. I can recall back to playing in Mites and growing up playing hockey in Burnsville.
MHJ // Who was your biggest rival in high
Boeser // Oh, it definitely has to be the Edina Hornets.
MHJ // Do you have any fond memories playing with your friends at Burnsville?
Boeser // There are just a ton of memories with many of those guys—every year, going to the rink and practicing, and playing outdoor hockey with them. Through all that time, it was just a lot of fun and awesome memories.
MHJ // What’s your proudest memory of your high school hockey career?
Boeser // That’s a tough one. It’s probably beating Edina for the first time my junior year of high school. I think we beat them in Bantams, but I think it was the first time our head coach had beat Edina.
MHJ // What are some of your hockey-related rituals or superstitions?
Boeser // I always take a nap on game day. Then when I start stretching, I do the same routine and listen to the same songs every time.
MHJ // What are some skills you’re focused on developing in your sophomore season?
Boeser // I think I can definitely get faster and more explosive. That’s been something I’ve been trying to improve for a while now over these past few years. I’m just focused on improving every aspect of my game.