Boeser returns from ASG with cash, car, a puppy

Rather than focus exclusively on the Minnesota Wild’s top prospects, we’re taking a look at the best players from across the State of Hockey every week.

From high school to the pros, check out our recap of all the week’s events in Minnesota hockey, as we check in with college players, prep standouts and State of Hockey alums.

Let’s take a look at this week’s three-star selection, along with other notes, in the latest edition of the State of Hockey Tracker.

FIRST STAR

Brock Boeser, F, Vancouver Canucks (NHL)

A native of Burnsville, Boeser is going to command truckloads full of cash when his rookie contract is up next year. But while his rookie deal pays out just $925,000 per year, he’s making up the difference in performance bonuses. Boeser triggered various bonuses and payouts over the weekend: $212,500 in performance bonuses for being named All-Star Game MVP (and another $212,500 for making the All-Star Game), $100,000 for winning the 3-on-3 tournament as a member of the Pacific Division team and another $25,000 from the league for winning the shooting accuracy competition That’s all in addition to his $212,500 bonus for scoring 20 goals. He also walked away with a Honda hybrid. And a puppy, which he adopted following a photo shoot with the Humane Society of Tampa.

SECOND STAR

Kirill Kaprizov, F, CSKA Moscow (KHL)

Kaprizov is headed to the Olympics despite the committee’s ban on Russian athletes. “OAR” — shorthand for “Olympic Athletes from Russia” — has one of the most intimidating rosters in the tournament, one that features former NHL stars Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk on the top line. Kaprizov fits in on the second alongside Vadim Shipachyov. He scored twice in a pre-tournament game Tuesday against Belarus, helping OAR to a 3-0 win.

THIRD STAR

Hunter Shepard, G, Minnesota Duluth (NCHC)

The Bulldogs’ goaltending situation was wildly unclear following the departure of Hunter Miska (now in the Arizona Coyotes’ organization), who posted a .920 save percentage and a 2.20 goals-against average as a freshman. Shepard has stepped in to fill the void. He ranks third in the conference with a .914 save percentage and fifth with a 2.29 GAA. He was at his best last week, allowing four goals on 77 shots in three games, all against top-10 opponents. Shepard has allowed more than two goals just twice in UMD’s last 10 games. The Bulldogs are 8-1-2 over that span.

AROUND THE RINK

— Wild prospect Sam Anas had his point streak snapped Saturday. He had previously registered a point in eight straight games, a run that also included a four-game goal streak.

— Teammate Luke Kunin was the Wild’s only representative at the AHL All-Star Game. He has 14 points in 26 games for Iowa this season.

— Wild prospect Dmitry Sokolov (who we covered last week) had four points (two goals, two assists) in two games last week.

— Rochester native Tyler Vesel had a big weekend for Nebraska Omaha, racking up five points to help the Mavericks to a sweep of conference rival Western Michigan. The Mavericks are now just three points behind WMU, UMD and UND, currently locked in a three-way tie with 24 points for the final home playoff spot.

— Wild prospect Nick Swaney was named the NCHC rookie of the week for the second time after notching three points (one goal, two assists) to help UMD to a split with St. Cloud State.