For months, Waterloo Black Hawks forward Brock Boeser had to wait to find out which National Hockey League team would select him during the 2015 NHL Draft, but once the proceedings began, he didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called by the Vancouver Canucks.

Vancouver used the 23rd pick of the draft to secure the future services of the University of North Dakota recruit. The selection is the earliest a Waterloo player has ever been chosen during the annual procurement process.

Peter Ferraro is the only other Black Hawk to ever be selected in the first round, chosen with the 24th overall pick by the New York Rangers in 1992.

On Saturday, the Nashville Predators used the 85th overall pick to acquire Waterloo teammate Tom Novak in the third-round of the 2015 NHL Draft. Click HERE for story.

Waterloo Black Hawks - Brock Boeser
Brock Boeser / Courtesy: Waterloo Black Hawks

“Just like our fans, NHL scouts could easily identify Brock’s talent from the top row of the arena, said Black Hawks Head Coach P.K. O'Handley. "What really made him one of the sought-after players in this season’s draft class was the combination of that talent with a wonderful, outgoing personality. Brock is loyal, he is humble, and he has all of the tools to be successful, both as a hockey player and as a person."

In a closely scrutinized season, Boeser tied for the United States Hockey League (USHL) lead in goals with 35. His 68 points paced the Black Hawks and were third-most on the circuit. For his efforts, Boeser was recognized with a place on the All-USHL First Team and the league’s All-Rookie First Team.

Beyond his efforts in Waterloo, he also represented the United States twice, during the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last August and at the World Junior A Challenge in December, as well as appearing in a pair of high-profile prospect events: USA Hockey’s All-American Prospects Game and the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

NHL Central Scouting ranked Boeser the 27th-best prospect among North American skaters in its final pre-draft list released in April. In breaking Ferraro’s long-standing record, Boeser contributed to a recent trend of early draft success. From 1992 through 2009, no Waterloo player was claimed earlier than the fourth round.

In the six drafts beginning with 2010, seven Hawks have been taken in the third round or earlier, including three second round selections (Brandon Montour, Ian McCoshen, and Zach Sanford) in the last two years. The list could grow on the second day of the draft, with forward Tom Novak projected as an early round candidate. David Cotton, Cale Morris, and Ethan Spaxman are also ranked by Central Scouting.

Former Hawks defenseman Andrew Alberts was a member of the Canucks through the conclusion of 2013-14 and reached the 2011 Stanley Cup finals there after spending two junior seasons in Waterloo. Vancouver had never before drafted a player with ties to Waterloo, however.

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