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Draft Central Player Profile: Brock Boeser

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs

Each year there is a class of players to emerge from the USHL comparable in skill to their CHL brethren, but less heralded. One of the top rated prospects of this year's USHL group is Brock Boeser.

In his first full USHL season, Boeser was a top performer for the Waterloo Black Hawks. In 57 games, he recorded 35 goals and 68 points to finish third in USHL scoring and first in goal scoring. His stellar season came despite playing on a middling Waterloo club that missed the playoffs. For his efforts he was named a USHL First Team All-Star and named to the USHL All-Rookie Team.

Internationally, Boeser won a bronze medal as captain of Team USA at the 2014-15 Hlinka Memorial. He recorded six goals and eight points in five games for the Americans to help pace the team offensively. He also recorded four goals and five points for the Americans at the 2014 World Junior A Championship en route to a gold medal.

Boeser is characterized as a natural scoring winger. He possesses good hockey sense, which allows him to read and react well. He tries to force turnovers in his own zone, which allows him to hit opponents on the counter attack in transition. He handles the puck well and knows how to get himself into scoring areas for chances. With that said, he's also an adept playmaker.

Going forward, Boeser will need to improve his defensive marking and his play in the dirtier areas of the ice. Much of professional defensive success stems from positioning and the ability to win puck battles. Both are areas of focus for the 18-year-old moving forward. His natural instincts will translate to the professional game, it's a matter of bringing eveything else up to speed.

Boeser could be a mid-first rounder but is more likely to be taken later in round one.

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