The day he signed with the Vancouver Canucks near the end of the summer, Thomas Vanek skated with the pros and college hockey players who train at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, just south of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Vanek played at the University of Minnesota and makes his off-season home there. Brock Boeser grew up in Burnsville, Minn. They skated together for most of the summer when neither could have known what was in store for him with the Vancouver Canucks. "I didn’t know him super well," Vanek, 33, said Thursday. "But we scrimmaged and ended up on the same line a few times. I just liked him right away. What I liked about him is he’s a humble kid. I mean, you can tell he has talent. But he’s a good kid. You like to help guys like him. "The day I signed, we skated later on. He was excited and I was excited and we joked around that maybe we could keep that summer chemistry going." The Chicago Blackhawks wish they hadn’t. Boeser, the 20-year-old National Hockey League rookie, Vanek and veteran Sam Gagner produced all the goals and combined for 12 points as the Canucks emerged from the Christmas break with their best performance in three weeks – a 5-2 win against the Blackhawks.