2016 NCAA Frozen Four: Boeser reaping rewards of strong freshman season at North Dakota

By DJ Powers
Brock Boeser - University of North Dakota - 2016 NCAA Frozen Four

Photo: University of North Dakota forward and Vancouver Canucks prospect Brock Boeser notched a pair of assists in the Fighting Hawks 4-2 win over the University of Denver in the semi-finals of the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four (courtesy of Elsa/Getty Images)

 

 

Freshman sensation Brock Boeser is a part of the University of North Dakota’s dynamic “CBS” line. He has performed as advertised and them some this season, as he is one of the nation’s most dominant freshmen. He earned the NCHC Rookie of the Year honor and was among the top candidates for the National Rookie of the Year award, an honor won Friday by Michigan’s Kyle Connor.

Hockey’s Future spoke with Boeser after practice on Friday at Amalie Arena in Tampa as the Fighting Hawks prepared for their NCAA championship game showdown with Quinnipiac University that will take place on Saturday night.

Hockey’s Future: The “CBS” line played a big part in the team’s win over Denver. I know that you, Nick (Schmaltz) and Drake (Caggiula) have played so well together all season long. How were you guys able to develop that chemistry that has made your line so successful?

Brock Boeser: I think we were able to bond together pretty quickly. Nick is a skill guy that sees the ice real well. He can pass and he can shoot, too. Drake is an all-around great passer and shooter and I can be the same way. I think the skills that we each have has enabled us to mold together perfectly. It’s worked out real well.

HF: You and Nick also played on the same line at the World Junior Championship with Team USA. So that had to be very cool.

BB: Oh, it was tremendous! I learned a lot from playing with Nick at the WJC because he was with the team last year as well. I think the chemistry that we have also really helped us (Team USA). So it was a really exciting experience.

HF: How has playing with Nick and Drake helped you as far as your developmental progress? And do they sort of force you to elevate your game as well?

BB: They’ve been great with taking me under their wings this year. They’ve shown me just how hard you have to play and compete to be successful not only in college hockey, but to try and get to the pros as well. I think that’s really helped my game and has sort of forced me to raise the level of my play, too.

HF: I know that you were a first round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks. Coming to North Dakota, was there any pressure on you to have to live up to that expectation of being such a high draft pick?

BB: Not really. There’s always that expectation to play your very best, especially with the amount of talent and (draft) picks that we have on this team, and just the tradition that we have here (at North Dakota). So it really wasn’t too bad.

HF: Did you attend the Canucks prospects camp this past summer?

BB: Yes, I did.

HF: What were you able to learn from that camp that you’ve been able to bring back to North Dakota this season?

BB: I think just the little things that I need to work on to reach that (NHL) level. The coaches would work on different drills with you on and off the ice. They tell you what you’re doing right and what you need to work on. So that’s really helped me a lot.

HF: Are you planning to attend the camp again this summer?

BB: Oh definitely. I expect to see all of the other prospects there too. It should be fun.

Follow DJ Powers on Twitter via @DJPowersHF