Matt Boldy had a great first-half season with the Minnesota Wild during the 2021-22 season. By season’s end, the left wing scored 15 goals with 24 assists in 47 games played. His points per game total are one of the best for NHL rookies and had he played longer, Boldy could have garnered more Calder Trophy votes. It’s a feather in his cap that he finished eighth in the voting.
“To be honest it wasn’t in my head, ever. It would have been cool. It was never a priority,” Boldy said about the Calder. “It was going out there and playing my game and having fun with it. Playing with two great linemates (Kevin Fiala was one of them). I was having fun every night, but success came, and I was fortunate.”
Playing against former teammates isn’t easy for rookies. The NHL is completely different from any other league. Boldy was very honest about that.
“I work out and skate against Matty (Beniers) during the summer,” said Boldy. “I see him a lot. He’s one of my good friends. It’s weird when you’re out there, but in the summer and when you’re not playing against each other it’s light-hearted, and the friendship comes back a little more.”
Boldy is part of a flood of former NTDP players that are playing in the NHL. That program is proven and that’s another reason why it’s no surprise that he’s fit in so well.
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The Massachusettes native knows when it’s game time. He has no friends on the ice that are wearing the opponents’ sweater. Players can separate this, and that sometimes confuses fans. The 6’2” winger explained it.
“A switch turns I think for everybody. If you’re out there against your buddies you might turn it up a little more,” Boldy added.
This year. the second-year player will have more expectations. For some that’s a battle, for others, it can be worrisome, and then there’s another response that the future stars tend to have.
“It helps me. That’s how my brain works. It’s more comforting than scary that I have to go out there and play well again,” Boldy admitted. “It’s more of a confidence thing for me. It makes me feel good about myself. It’s just being comfortable around the guys and knowing that I fit in and knowing the guys respect me.”
As a developing player, his skating and passing were top-notch. He could make the cross-ice pass and that would surprise some since Boldy is a bigger and sometimes tougher guy. His stickhandling is above average, and he earns his bones by scoring around the net. Possessing an above-average wrist shot that hits the net makes him valuable. He’s a high-percentage shot guy.
Boldy is poised for a big season and the Wild will need him to have another solid season. He’s only 21, but he’s ready mentally and physically.
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