If you are looking for Mikkel Boedker on the ice at any time, just find the player that looks like he’s having the most fun. But if you are on the opposing team, don’t stare at his approachable look too long as there stands a good chance that he will blast by you on his way to the goal.
The 18-year-old winger has all the tools to be a star in the making. He has the speed, scoring touch and passing finesse of a player that just about any NHL team could start building around.
Currently, the friendly Dane is ranked seventh among NA Skaters by Central Scouting for the upcoming draft in Ottawa on June 20th. He enjoyed an amazing rookie season with the Kitchener Rangers, where he was second in team scoring, behind OHL MVP and scoring leader Justin Azevedo, with 29 goals and 44 assists in 62 games. After his sensational OHL playoff run, where he has tallied nine goals and 26 assists for 35 points in 20 games, a team may want to draft him a little earlier or perhaps trade up to snag him.
Boedker is the type of player who takes immense pride in his conditioning. Standing at 5’11, he has 201 lbs of pure muscle on his frame. This does not bode well for his counterparts in the corners as his strength makes him even more dangerous.
During the Memorial Cup, Hockey’s Future was able to sit down with Boedker and reflect on his rapidly blossoming hockey career and experiences.
HF: How would you sum up your season with the Kitchener Rangers?
MB: Things have been incredible. I could not have imagined that it would have turned out so well for me this year. I have enjoyed every moment of it, and I am very thankful that I got the opportunity to come play for Kitchener.
HF: What was your highlight of the season?
MB: Obviously winning the OHL Championship and getting the opportunity to play in front of the home fans in Kitchener for the Memorial Cup. You can’t ask for more than that.
HF: Who do you give credit to for the success you have found in your young hockey career?
MB: Obviously my parents and my brother. They have been awesome. They came to Canada to watch me play in the Memorial Cup this week. The people that board me in Kitchener have been very supportive and helped make the move to Kitchener smooth. I really was a little concerned about the move from home, but found that it was no big deal. And of course the Rangers organization has been wonderful.
HF: You represented Denmark well in the World Junior Hockey Championship in the winter, please elaborate on your experiences there.
MB: I enjoyed it immensely. Playing against the best players in the world my age really brought the best out of me and the national team. We played a solid game against Canada and look forward to better things in the future.
HF: How does playing in the Memorial Cup differ from playing during the regular season?
MB: The Memorial Cup has so much hype and we have to play the best teams in the whole league as opposed to just playing every team once in a while. The excitement is always high because the whole country has their eyes on four teams instead of just following their own home team.
HF: With the draft not too far away, what do you think about in regards to that big day?
MB: Right now I try not to think about it. I am doing my best to keep my mind on the Memorial Cup and winning it. It is hard to not get too excited about it as it is not too far off.
HF: You seem to have a lot of fun out there on the ice.
MB: Life is all about having fun and enjoying it. Life is too short to not have fun. I am very lucky to be able to play the game that I love at this level.
HF: What differences do you see in yourself now as compared to the start of the season?
MB: Playing a season with Justin (Azevedo) has really helped. He is so good at setting up plays and finishing them off. It is not hard too score a lot playing with him beside you. My confidence has grown now that I am used to Kitchener after moving here. I have become stronger physically and I have been making smarter plays with the puck.
HF: What do you have planned for the summer once hockey is done?
MB: I will be returning home (Denmark) for a while, then I will be taking it easy. Conditioning of course, and getting ready for the upcoming season. Mostly, just relaxing and thinking of next season.
HF: What do you do on your down time during the hockey season?
MB: I sit around and just relax. I will hang out with the team and do stuff like movies. I try to just enjoy all the time and things that I do in my life.
HF: Who is your favorite NHL player?
MB: That would be Marian Gaborik from the Minnesota Wild. He is a great player and is fun to watch.
HF: That’s understandable as you have a similar look and playing style to him.
MB: Well, I don’t know about that (grinning), he is one of the best players in the game. I have a long way to go to be able to be compared to a player like him.
HF: What is your favorite NHL team?
MB: That is hard to say as I like so many of them, I guess Minnesota because of Gaborik.
HF: What would you have liked to have been if not a hockey player?
MB: I couldn’t imagine myself as anything else but a hockey player. I love the game so much.
HF: With Denmark becoming more competitive on an international level, do you see yourself perhaps working as an ambassador for the game?
MB: I really haven’t even thought of that. I am just concentrating setting up my life with hockey and enjoying every minute of it. As I said before, life is short we have to enjoy every minute that we have because it goes by too quickly.