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Brock Boeser’s mind took a hit last year

The 2022-2023 season was particularly difficult for Brock Boeser’s mind. Vancouver Canucks fans have high expectations for him, but an injury early in the season kept him from showing his best side.

Everything tumbled from that moment for the 26-year-old right winger. On the third day of training camp, he had to stop in order to undergo a one-hand operation. He came back in time for the first duel, but still felt like he was a step behind. His hand became infected and he had to wait until November 18 before finally scoring a goal.

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“It was so frustrating. I worked so hard over the summer and tried to show up in the best shape possible. At the last camp, I felt really good and then I stopped skating for a week. It was difficult to come back and keep up with my teammates and build chemistry with them,” he explained at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Canucks had another frustrating season and trade rumors were a daily occurrence for Boeser, who nonetheless finished the season with 55 points in 74 games.

The soul-searching has been long after this troubled campaign, especially since the Canucks have failed to find a trade partner. Despite everything, the American is there and he has regained his motivation.

“Last year I definitely had a mental barrier. It was different… you’re not really at peace in the beginning. You’re just sitting there wondering why certain things happened, but I think I’ve made peace. I think the summer was very good (for our family) and we all found this peace,” acknowledged Boeser.

Careful preparation

Saying he feels much better than a few months ago, the striker claims to be both physically and mentally well. He has prepared with a new personal trainer who he hopes will allow him to play a normal season.

“I thought about it a lot. I feel good now. I see people in Minnesota on a weekly basis who make sure I feel comfortable. In general, everything is fine. My wrist is fine. I try to make sure I take care of my body so that nothing happens,” he explained.

Boeser, who will be in his seventh full season with the Canucks — a high among current players in the franchise — views his first camp with head coach Rick Tocchet with great trepidation. The attitude of this one will help whip the troops.

“‘Tocc’ came along and pushed us even though we weren’t in the playoffs,” he said. He pushed us every day. He told us that for the guys who came back, the camp was going to be very hard this year. He warned us, so we will see how difficult it will be.

Recall that Tocchet took the reins in Vancouver in January, when Bruce Boudreau was relieved of his functions. The Canucks were still left out of the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years.