Laurie Boeser joked what her son’s reaction would probably be Saturday when she and her husband, Duke, entered the Canucks’ locker room seven minutes before their game against the Wild: “Oh my Gosh! Really mom?”
In a classy gesture, the Canucks invited the Boesers to announce the starting lineup to the players after their 20-year-old signed his first pro contract and was about to make his NHL debut against the team he rooted for — the Wild — growing up in Burnsville.
“You couldn’t have painted a prettier picture than we’ve got today,” said Laurie, who watched from a suite with Brock’s dad, grandmother and scores of aunts, uncles and cousins as her son ultimately score the winning goal.
Boeser, who had just done a solo lap to start warmups without his helmet, was indeed in the starting lineup with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
“It’s something you dream about,” Boeser said. “I mean, I think they got drafted the year I was born.”
It was Duke Boeser, who has been struggling lately with Parkinson’s disease, who informed his son he’d be starting.
“Duke’s running on adrenaline today,” Laurie Boeser said.
Said Brock, “I had a few tears in my eyes when they brought them in. I’m thankful for everything they’ve done for me.”
Boeser played on a line with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi.
“Dream come true,” he said of scoring with a puck he gave to his parents afterward.
Boeser signed his contract after University of North Dakota lost to Boston University in the NCAA West Regional on Friday. The easiest thing would have been to drive from Fargo to the Twin Cities with agent Ben Hankinson and get a good night sleep at the team hotel. Instead, he wanted to bus back to Grand Forks for one final team dinner. He flew to Minneapolis on Saturday morning.
“It’s a heartbreaking loss and it’s hard to leave those guys in North Dakota, but I had to take a new step and I’m looking forward to the future,” Boeser said.
• Garrett Rank, 29, whose second career is an elite amateur touring golfer during the offseason, was one of the two referees during Saturday’s game. His first NHL game was Jan. 15, 2015, at Buffalo during Devan Dubnyk’s memorable debut. Saturday marked Rank’s first game at Xcel Energy Center, making it all 30 NHL rinks in which he has worked.
• Winger Ryan White (minus-2) played for the first time in three games. Jordan Schroeder was scratched. Defenseman Christian Folin returned from missing 10 games because of an injury.