Boeser opens up about last season's struggles, eager to bounce back
Boeser, fresh off inking a three-year extension to stick with the Canucks amid swirling trade rumors, opened up about the psychological burden he faced trying to navigate the Canucks' schedule while his late father's health rapidly deteriorated from afar.
"It’s crazy to say out loud. There were times where I was just mentally exhausted and mentally drained, and I felt that a lot. Just all the stress. It sounds really messed up but when I did get injured again, I’m not going to lie, it was almost (relief) because I was so mentally tired. I think it really affected me." Boeser told Sportsnet's Iain MacIntyre.
Boeser sustained an elbow injury in April as the Canucks pursued a playoff spot. His mind was on his dad, Duke, who died of Parkinson's disease in May.
"It was just a tough scenario all around," Boeser said. "I wish I could have been so much better (last season). You never know, if I score five or six more goals maybe we’re in the playoffs. I think about things like that and it eats at me for sure."
Boeser finished the season with 23 goals and 23 assists in 71 games. The 25-year-old believes he's turned a corner amid his healing process and is excited to play again.
"I’m moving forward and taking things a day at a time but ... after everything, these last two weeks, I’ve been really thinking about hockey, shifting my focus to that," Boeser said. "I’ve been sitting here thinking: I can’t wait for the season to start. Now that this deal is done, I’m just so excited. And like I said, I know I have a lot to prove. It’s going to be a different year for me mentally and that’s exciting."
Boeser was drafted 23rd overall in 2015. He's racked up 256 points in 324 career games with Vancouver.