Brock Boeser will make season debut for Canucks tonight

Oct 13 2017, 1:59 am

The Canucks are a home underdog for tonight’s game, paying out 2.06 on the money line.

Canucks fans, you’re going to get your wish.

After being a healthy scratch in two consecutive games to start the season, Brock Boeser will make his season debut for the Canucks tonight against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena.

No player represents hope for the future more than the 20-year-old Boeser. An elite goal scorer in college, the 2015 first round draft pick showed that he could transfer those skills to the NHL last season, scoring four goals in Vancouver’s final nine games.

But after signing a number of veteran forwards in free agency, head coach Travis Green elected to sit Boeser to start the season despite the fact that the rookie was the team’s preseason leader in scoring.

Fans were angry, but they quickly got over the decision after Vancouver’s highly entertaining 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on opening night. But after a less impressive 3-2 shootout loss to Ottawa on Tuesday, the door was open for Green to make a change to his lineup.

Not only will Boeser draw in, he’s going to start on the team’s top line with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. Alexander Burmistrov will be a healthy scratch to make room.

“I didn’t expect this much attention around my debut. I’m excited and am focused on being a positive for the team,” Boeser said after the morning skate.

“I think it’s a great opportunity, just building off of last year. I need to go out there and focus on my game, compete hard, and make the most of the opportunity.”

Didn’t expect this much attention? He must be new here.

Green says that Boeser will likely receive some power play time. He could provide a big boost to a team that’s just 1-for-11 with the man advantage so far.

That could be extra useful against a Jets team that has racked up the second-most penalty minutes in the NHL since 2013. Winnipeg has also struggled killing penalties this year, having given up four goals on 12 penalty-killing opportunities.

Boeser is the only change to the Canucks’ lineup, as the coach goes with the same six defencemen that played on Saturday and Tuesday. Jacob Markstrom, who has a sparkling .948 save percentage, will get his third-straight start.

After being blown out 7-2 and 6-3 in their first two games against Toronto and Calgary, Winnipeg turned it around for a 5-2 win in Edmonton on Monday. They’ll be without star defenceman Dustin Byfuglien for a second straight game.

Note: If you’re heading to tonight’s game, there’s a new bag policy that has been implemented at Rogers Arena. Enhanced security measures dictate that purses or bags larger than 14″ x 14″ x 6″ (35cm x 35cm x 15cm) will not be allowed in to the stadium for any game or event.

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