By Scott McLaughlin/DFP Staff
4) Boston University
2009-10 record: 18-17-3 (13-12-2 HE)
Finish in HE: T-3rd (lost in tournament semifinals)
Key returners: Jr. F Chris Connolly (10-21-31), Jr. D David Warsofsky (12-11-23), Sr. F Joe Pereira (5-16-21), So. F Alex Chiasson (7-12-19), Jr. F Corey Trivino (4-11-15), So. D Max Nicastro (3-12-15), Jr. G Kieran Millan (3.15, .891)
Key losses: F Nick Bonino (11-27-38), D Colby Cohen (14-16-30), F Vinny Saponari (12-18-30), D Kevin Shattenkirk (7-22-29), F Zach Cohen (15-10-25), D Eric Gryba (4-6-10)
Notable freshmen: F Charlie Coyle, F Matt Nieto, F Yasin Cisse, D Adam Clendening
Coach: Jack Parker
How they finished
After being picked first in the Hockey East preseason coaches poll, the Terriers went a disappointing 4-9-3 in the first half. They posted a much-improved 12-6-0 record in the second half and knocked off Merrimack in three games in the quarterfinals, but their season came to an end with an underwhelming 5-2 loss to Maine in the semifinals. According to Parker, the team “pissed away” the season because of a “lousy attitude.” To borrow one of Parker’s favorite expressions, attitude will be everything this year.
The Terriers lose five of their top six scorers, including three of their top six forwards, but they still return three 20-point scorers and five other double-digit scorers. Second-round NHL picks Corey Trivino and Alex Chiasson and fifth-round pick Wade Megan, none of whom reached the 20-point plateau last season, will be expected to step up their games and produce like future NHLers. In addition to bringing back some talent, BU also brings in the most promising batch of freshman forwards in the conference — Charlie Coyle was a first-round pick this summer, Yasin Cisse was a fifth-round pick and Matt Nieto is projected to be a first-round pick next summer.
Defense and goaltending
BU loses three of its top four defensemen, but as is the case up front, there is still quite a bit of talent on the back line. David Warsofsky, a fourth-round pick, and Max Nicastro, a third-round pick, are both solid two-way players who should be in the discussion for best defensemen in the league. Rookie Adam Clendening, like Nieto, projects as a first-round pick in next year’s draft. In net, the Terriers return Kieran Millan, who will be counted on to play more like the goalie who was named NCAA Rookie of the Year two seasons ago than the one who ranked 11th in the conference in save percentage last year. Classmate Grant Rollheiser should see time between the pipes, too.