Brandon Fortunato leaves BU hockey program

Fortunato scored five goals this past year for BU.
Fortunato scored five goals this past year for BU.

One of the Boston University men’s hockey team’s most experienced defensemen has left the program.

Brandon Fortunato – as first reported by Mark Divver, the Providence Journal’s resident hockey reporter – has bid farewell to his career in the scarlet and white. The native of North Hills, New York would have been a junior in the 2016-17 season.

He appeared in 79 games across two seasons, registering six goals and 34 assists in the process. Often a pillar on the second power-play unit, Fortunato was a staple of BU’s charge to the NCAA title game during the 2014-15 campaign.

Prior to his time at BU, Fortunato featured prominently for U.S. Hockey’s youth national teams, earning a gold medal at IIHF U18 World Championships. During his sophomore year, Fortunato played on the U.S. World Juniors squad that captured a bronze medal.

It is not immediately clear what Fortunato’s BU hockey career entails, but the Terriers’ logjam along the blueline has become slightly simpler.

Head coach David Quinn will now have eight defenseman to choose from. From most to least experienced, they read as senior captain Doyle Somerby; juniors John MacLeod, Brandon Hickey and Brien Diffley; sophomores Charlie McAvoy and Shane Switzer; and freshman Chad Krys and Dante Fabbro.

12 thoughts on “Brandon Fortunato leaves BU hockey program

  1. Funny how so many leave programs today. Never happened in my day except in the most rarest circumstances. Good luck to him. I assume Quinn told him he was not to start. Just a guess.

  2. Does anyone know if he can immediately go to another college program or does he have to sit out for one year?

    • Glenn — Fortunato has 2 years of eligibility remaining but must sit out next season if he seeks an immediate transfer to another program. As a ’96 birthdate, Fortunato also has 1 year of eligibility next year to play Junior hockey (USHL, USPHL, BCHL, etc.) and can then play at another college program without sitting out a year.

  3. Hmm, this is interesting. I liked Brandon BUT I maintained all along I thought he was too weak to be a D man. His shot was too soft. Excellent skater and puck handler but I think every team knew he wasn’t going to shoot the puck. I wish him well and I hope he gets to play somewhere this year. We still have 8 D so I’m going to agree with SOCC on this.

    • Tim,

      I think it’s a real possibility Diffley sees time at both. He’s been solid – never spectacular, but reliable – in defense. With such a young team, one can never have enough experience at the back, regardless of how talented the blue-chip prospects are.

      As for time at forward, IIRC he briefly skated there at some point last year. I could be mistaken. In my opinion, he has enough skill to see time on the third or fourth line.

      With all that in mind, what will Quinn do? Lineup decisions such as these won’t be easy or simple in 2016-17.

      – Jon Sigal

  4. I think he did not like the competition for ice time and power play time. no guarantees with this team. you got to earn your spot. i like that. i wonder if he will follow the path of other ex BU guys and end up at vermont or northeastern

    • Fully agree about the competing for a spot in the lineup. No guarantees and unfortunately I think Fortunato felt he should have been guaranteed even though he probably would have been good enough to still be an impact player next year by simply working hard at it.

      • Spot on about stiff competition ahead of the 2016-17 season. The best athletes in a multitude of sports preach that depth and squad strength bring out the best in each player. Some thrive in that situation, while others don’t quite embrace it.

        • I see several areas of the lineup where there’s gonna be stiff competition for ice time. Even with Fortunato’s departure, the team still has 7 more than capable defensemen competing for 6 spots every game.

          Up front, after Keller, Bellows, Greenway & JFK, there are 2 spots open on the first two lines that I think are ripe for hungry, talented guys to jump at the opportunity to play regularly on those lines. Guys like Carpenter, Cloonan, Harper, etc. can do it if they can prove they’re capable & willing on a consistent basis.

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