Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau isn’t here to make friends, he’s here to win hockey games. While the 10-3-1 record is a nice start, Boudreau knows the kind of impact he can have on player’s development and look no further than Canucks forward Nils Hoglander. 

The Canucks coach wasn’t shy with his comments regarding Hoglander’s game and his sophomore slump is becoming a problem for the team. Boudreau spoke to the media on Tuesday and had this to say:

He’s got some scoring potential, but he needs to learn how to play the game. He’s still a young kid, quite frankly, and I don’t know, someday he might score 40 goals, but if you’re going to hover around the 20-goal mark, you better learn to play both ends of the ice. As a guy that played overseas, he’s still learning that game. There’s a lot of things that he could do better, but his natural talent is definitely there.

Hoglander was a second round pick of Vancouver back in 2019 and while he recorded 13 goals and 14 assists in his first season in the league, so far in 2021-22 it’s been only 14 points in 38 games. His ice-time is down almost a full minute per night from his rookie season.

Of all the players who are flourishing under Boudreau’s new system, Hoglander appears to be one of the only Canucks who has taken a giant step backwards because of the new schemes and systems. Let’s hope he can turn it around or he may find himself wearing another jersey. It’s never a good thing when your coach tells the media you need to learn the game.

Photo credit:  Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports 

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