Geoff Courtnall: Justin ‘was really torn’ about decision to leave BU

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff
Geoff Courtnall, the father of forward Justin Courtnall, has confirmed the 23-year-old’s entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins. Justin, an assistant captain for the Boston University men’s hockey team last season, will forgo his senior season.

“I’m excited for Justin,” Geoff said. “Justin was really torn … It took him a long time to make the decision.”

Justin, a seventh-round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, became a free agent after his draft rights expired in 2011 because the Lightning failed to make a qualifying offer.

So now, three years later, Justin is following in the footsteps of his father, who signed with the Bruins as a free agent in 1983. He went on to play parts of five seasons in Boston from 1983 to 1988 en route to a 17-year NHL career.

“It was a launch to my career and played with a lot of great players,” Geoff said. “I love Boston; it was a great place to play.”

When it came to his son, though, Geoff insisted on staying out of the decision-making process. He said he wouldn’t want Justin to regret passing up what could have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The Bruins made Justin an offer after he impressed at a team development camp in late June, Geoff said. The decision comes so late in the summer because Justin had a hard time making up his mind.

“Everyone that grows up playing hockey has a dream to get a chance to play in the NHL, and I think that Justin probably felt this was such a great opportunity,” Geoff said. “He thought about it for a long time because he was torn and he really loved his time at Boston University, but he knows that this was too good of an opportunity to turn down.”

Reports: Justin Courtnall signs with Bruins

By Tim Healey/DFP Staff

According to multiple reports Thursday afternoon, Boston University men’s hockey forward Justin Courtnall has decided to sign with the Boston Bruins and forgo his senior season. The news was first reported by Scott McLaughlin of College Hockey News.

The signing comes about two months after Courtnall, who was an assistant captain for BU last season, attended a Bruins development camp. Courtnall joins his fellow assistant captain, Alex Chiasson (Dallas Stars), as well as Adam Clendening (Chicago Blackhawks) as offseason departures for BU.

If it is indeed the end for Courtnall in the scarlet and white, he will have put up 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 92 games over the course of three years with the Terriers. His last act on the ice for BU was get his third game misconduct of the year in the NCAA Regional semifinal game against the University of Minnesota.

The news came as a shock to Geoff Courtnall, Justin’s father and a 17-year NHL veteran himself. He played parts of five seasons with the Bruins during the mid-1980s.

Justin “was struggling with the decision,” Geoff Courtnall said. “That’s between him and his agent.”

The Tampa Bay Lightning selected the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Victoria, British Columbia in the seventh round (210th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. However, Geoff Courtnall told The Daily Free Press in September 2011 that his son had since become a free agent.

“We’d definitely love to see another Courtnall in the NHL someday and hopefully it’s Justin,” Geoff Courtnall said last year. “You just never know.”

Despite putting up less-than-spectacular numbers, Justin Courtnall was also hopeful of a professional hockey career heading into his junior season.

“There are a lot of cases of guys being free agents coming out of college and doing really well,” he said last September. “[2009 Hobey Baker winner and BU graduate] Matt Gilroy is an example . . . When it comes to my dad, he made it off of pure work ethic and it definitely gives me hope that I can do the same.”

With the signing, Courtnall will join a group of Chris Bourque, Colby Cohen and David Warsofsky as former Terriers who are currently in the Bruins organization.

Cohen, who says that Courtnall is “a pretty good friend” of his, told the Daily Free Press on Thursday that he had not yet heard anything besides rumors that Courtnall had signed with the Bruins.

“If there is truth to [the rumors] then I would be nothing but happy,” Cohen said. “Heis one of the best teammates that I have ever had in my life. You will neverfind a guy with more character and that works harder than he does.”

More to come.

BU announces class of 2016

By Kevin Dillon/DFP Staff

The Boston University men’s hockey team finally revealed its Class of 2016, a class that features five forwards, two defensemen and two goaltenders.

Perhaps the most important members of the class are the two goaltenders, Sean Maguire and Matt O’Connor. The tandem of freshmen will replace reliable backstops Kieran Millan and Grant Rollheiser, both of whom finished their BU hockey careers last year.

Maguire posted a 2.39 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in two seasons with the Powell River Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League. The Powell River, British Columbia native was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2012 NHL draft.

O’Connor finished last season with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League with a 28-15-5 record while posting a 3.04 goals-against average.

“We’re confident that [O’Connor] and Maguire can give us a one-two punch right off the bat,” said BU coach Jack Parker in a press release.

Moving from the back line forward, the Terriers have two freshmen defensemen to add to their defensive corps this season. Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk will join the team alongside Espoo, Finland native Ahti Oksanen.

Grzelcyk totaled 23 points last season with the U.S. Under-18 Team and won a gold medal at the 2012 U18 World Championship in Czech Republic. The 5-foot-9 defenseman was selected in the third round (85th overall) of the 2012 NHL draft by the Boston Bruins.

Oksanen, who is replacing former BU defenseman Adam Clendening, led the Espoo Blues U20 team with 41 points in 51 games last season.

“We were very fortunate to get a player of Ahti’s caliber so late in the game,” Parker said. “He will fill the gap left behind by Adam Clendening’s early departure.”

The bulk of the freshman class comes from the forwards, though, as the team will welcome Sam Kurker, Matt Lane, Mike Moran, Wesley Myron and Danny O’Regan.
Kurker led St. John’s Preparatory School in scoring with 32 goals and 28 assists in 24 games last season. The Reading native was the highest selected incoming freshman in the 2012 NHL draft, as he was taken in the second round (56th overall) by the St. Louis Blues.

Myron and Moran were linemates during the 2011-12 season when they both spent time with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL. Myron led the Grizzlies with 42 points (17 goals and 25 assists) in 26 games while Moran, who is the nephew of BU assistant coach Mike Bavis, tallied 46 points in 39 games between the Grizzlies and the Penticton Vees, also of the BCHL. Myron was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the sixth round (177th overall).

Along with Myron and Moran, BU will have another set of teammates joining the team this season. Lane played with Grzelcyk last season on the U.S. Under-18 Team, and he totaled 13 goals and 17 assists in 59 games.

Rounding out the incoming freshmen is O’Regan, who also played with Lane and Grzelcyk last year on the U.S. Under-18 Team. The Needham native recorded 32 goals and 28 assists as a senior at St. Sebastian’s School during his senior season.

O’Regan, who was drafted in the fifth round (138th overall) by the San Jose Sharks, is the son of former Terrier captain Tommy O’Regan, who played 61 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins over the course of three seasons in the mid-1980s.

“We’ve known about [O’Regan] for a while since he’s Tommy’s son,” Parker said. “He’s always been a very clever guy and a great player in his age group. He excelled in international competition for the Under-18 Team and there’s a good possibility he’ll be a first- or second-line center for us.”

Terrier fans will get their first looks at the freshman class on Oct. 7, when BU will face the University of Toronto in an exhibition game at Agganis Arena. The team’s first regular-season game will be six days later against Providence College, also at Agganis Arena.

From the Freep: Trivino pleads guilty to assault and battery, trespassing

By: Emily Overholt

Former Boston University hockey forward Corey Trivino pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery and one count of trespassing Tuesday morning at Brighton District Court.

He was sentenced to two years of probation under the condition he remains alcohol free, attends weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, submits to random urine tests, has no contact with the victim and undergoes a psychiatric evaluation.

These charges come from Trivino’s Dec. 11 arrest. Originally he was charged with assault with intent to rape, three counts of indecent assault battery and two counts of breaking and entering.

The two counts of assault and battery he was charged with were reduced from indecent assault and battery and the trespassing charge was reduced from breaking and entering.

Assistant District Attorney Gloriann Moroney of Conley’s Family Protection and Sexual Assault Bureau said the plea bargain was recommended because the victim did not want to go through the trauma of trial.