Better Brock Boeser buoys Burnsville hockey

  • Article by: AARON PAITICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 18, 2013 - 12:07 AM

Brock Boeser’s improved skating has Burnsville’s coach expecting big things from the Wisconsin-bound junior.

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Brock Boeser (12) had 12 goals and 22 assists last season as a sophomore for Burnsville, and his coach expects more in the coming season.

Photo: Brian Nelson • Minnesota Hockey Hub,

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Wisconsin has been Brock Boeser’s “dream school” since he was little. His cousin, Dan Boeser, played hockey for Wisconsin in the early 2000s. Growing up in Burnsville, Brock went to as many games as he could. He’s had Badgers clothes and Wisconsin garb in his room ever since, as he developed into a key high school hockey player for Burnsville.

So when the Badgers offered Brock Boeser a scholarship during his spring break in March, it was a surreal moment for him. It didn’t take the highly sought-after recruit long to make his decision. He committed to the program in May.

“At the end, it just felt right,” said Boeser, who also had Minnesota and Michigan in the mix.

Even though he won’t hit the ice in Madison for two more years, he may have already helped the program. Boeser’s best friend, high-scoring forward Matt Freytag of Wayzata High School, recently committed to Wisconsin.

“I’ve been on his case a little bit,” Boeser said.

In 19 games for the Blaze last season, Boeser, a winger, registered 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points. Not bad for a sophomore playing one of the toughest schedules in the state.

Burnsville head coach Janne Kivihalme said he will count on Boeser to produce even more this year.

“He has improved his skating over the offseason and is ready to be one of the best players in high school hockey this year,” Kivihalme said.

Much of his offseason improvement was documented by teammates, opposing players, coaches and evaluators. Boeser played well in the Minnesota Hockey High Performance Camps, advancing to the USA Hockey Boys’ Select 16 Player Development Camp, which took place last month in Williamsville, N.Y.

Playing against the best players in the country in his age group, Boeser tied for first in the scoring race at the national camp, getting four goals and eight assists in just six games. It earned him a selection to the U.S. Under-17 Select Team, which played in the Five Nations Tournament in Trnava, Slovakia, from last Wednesday to Sunday. St. Thomas Academy’s Tom Novak, a Gophers recruit, also made the team.

Boeser’s performance also earned him a letter.

“Really honored to be able to play in it and be an assistant captain for Team USA,” said Boeser, who had a goal and an assist in each of the team’s first two games in the tournament. “Means so much, and traveling overseas is a great experience.”

Boeser has been working on all aspects of his game, including skating, shooting, stickhandling and vision. His hockey sense has improved the most, he said. Boeser considers himself a two-way player who won’t back down from anyone.

The Blaze will certainly rely on both his skills and no-nonsense attitude to put up points this year if the team wants to achieve its big goals.

“I’m really looking forward to the season, and a goal for the season is not just to make it to state but win state,” Boeser said.

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