This past weekend’s NHL Draft in Buffalo, New York was undoubtedly historic for the Boston University men’s hockey team. A whopping six Terriers heard their name called at First Niagara Center, speaking volumes to the youthful talent that will soon grace Agganis Arena for the 2016-17 season.
It’s important to take a step back, though, and ponder this: Just how many NHL selections does head coach David Quinn have at his disposal? As it turns out, quite a lot.
On any given weekend in Hockey East or out-of-conference play, it’s likely 11 skaters will have been drafted. The numbers break down to five forwards and six defensemen, altogether coalescing into what is – on paper – one of the NCAA’s most talented rosters.
Forwards: The Terriers have nearly two lines NHL scouts have tabbed as ready for the next step. It’s impossible to predict who will pan out as hoped, but potential is abound.
Kieffer Bellows – Freshman – New York Islanders – First round, 19th overall in 2016
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – Sophomore – Boston Bruins – Second round, 45th overall in 2015
Jordan Greenway – Sophomore – Minnesota Wild – Second round, 50th overall in 2015
Patrick Harper – Freshman – Nashville Predators – Fifth round, 138th overall in 2016
Clayton Keller – Freshman – Arizona Coyotes – First round, 7th overall in 2016
Defenseman: Lineup decisions and injuries notwithstanding, Quinn could field an entire defensive unit of NHL draft picks. Somerby, the team’s captain, leads the contingent.
Dante Fabbro – Freshman – Nashville Predators – First round, 17th overall in 2016
Brandon Hickey – Junior – Calgary Flames – Third round, 64th overall in 2014
Chad Krys – Freshman – Chicago Blackhawks – Second round, 45th overall in 2016
John MacLeod – Junior – Tampa Bay Lightning – Second round, 57th overall in 2014
Charlie McAvoy – Sophomore – Boston Bruins – First round, 14th overall in 2016
Doyle Somerby – Senior – New York Islanders – Fifth round, 125th overall in 2012
Here are some remarks from Quinn following the 2016 Draft about the NHL picks that’ll be wearing scarlet and white.
Also, be sure to read this article by Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated. He was on location in Buffalo last weekend, and has some interesting tidbits from McAvoy, Quinn and Jack Eichel.
Here’s a brief preview:
“Just talking about it and thinking about it,” said Charlie McAvoy, the only one of the quartet who skated for the Terriers last season. Not the upcoming first round of the draft, mind you, but the prospect of playing together in the fall. “It’s surreal, the class that we’re coming in with. It’s going to be special.”
After four Boston University athletes were drafted in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft, two more Terriers heard their names called on Saturday at First Niagara Center in Buffalo. The two most recent draftees, Chad Krys and Pat Harper, mean that BU led all college programs in total prospects selected this year. Read on to find out where the incoming freshman ended up.
His draft stock may have dropped, but Krys didn’t have to wait long to be drafted Saturday, as the Chicago Blackhawks took the defenseman 45th overall. The selection now means Krys and his father, Mark, who was a Terrier captain in 1990, are the first father-son combo to attend Boston University and be drafted into the NHL. Most teams see the 18-year-old as having plenty, as he was selected to Team USA’s World Juniors team this past winter. The Blackhawks aren’t a team that are need immediate help of any kind, as they have had nine straight winning seasons and won the Stanley Cup three times in the last seven years. Krys will head to Commonwealth Avenue this fall to improve his game, and the Blackhawks will wait until the right time to bring him to Chicago.
One of BU’s lesser-known newbies, Harper was taken by the Nashville Predators in the fifth round with the 138th overall selection. Harper, 18, joins incoming teammate Dante Fabbro as a member of the Predators. The forward last played for Avon Old Farms, where he tallied 39 assists and 59 total points.
It was a historic night for Boston University at the NHL Draft, as four Terriers were selected in the opening round. It is only the second time in league history that four athletes from the same college program were drafted in the top 30.
Incoming stars Clayton Keller, Dante Fabbro and Kieffer Bellows, as well as returning defenseman Charlie McAvoy, all heard their names called Friday night at First Niagara Center in Buffalo. Read on to see which NHL teams took a chance on some of the best BU has to offer.
The U.S. National Team Development Program’s all-time leading scorer was called up to the stage early on, as Keller was drafted seventh overall by the Arizona Coyotes. The 17-year-old is the sixth Terrier ever to be a top-10 selection.
“It’s a great feeling, it’s hard to describe, and I’m just so thankful to be picked by them,” Keller said after hearing his name called. “I was a little bit shocked, but its a great organization and I’m just so ready to get started, and they have such great players there so I’m really excited.”
Keller, who tallied 37 goals and 70 assists for the U.S. NTDP last season, is now part of a Coyotes team that went 35-39-8 in 2015-16 and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year. Arizona ranked 24th in goals scored and 20th in power play percentage, which could explain why the team opted to go with a natural scorer like Keller. It remains likely the 5-foot-10 forward will don the Scarlet and White for the 2016-17 season, but the Coyotes can take comfort in knowing they secured one of the top offensive playmakers in this year’s draft.
After an impressive freshman campaign on Commonwealth Avenue, McAvoy was selected by the Boston Bruins with the 14th overall pick. A mobile and creative blueliner and a member of last season’s Hockey East All-Rookie team, McAvoy, 18, follows in the footsteps of former teammate Matt Grzelcyk, a defenseman drafted by the Bruins in the 2012 NHL Draft.
“I’m at a loss for words. It’s an unbelievable feeling, and I’m just so happy to be a part of the Bruins,” McAvoy said after becoming a Bruin. “Boston is an unbelievable city with great sports and great people. I’m glad to be staying there.”
The Bruins barely missed the playoffs with a 42-31-9 record and finished 19th in the league in goals against. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney made it a priority to pick up a solid defenseman in this year’s draft, and McAvoy will likely provide a significant boost somewhere down the road.
One of nine incoming Terriers, Fabbro was taken 17th overall by the Nashville Predators. Fabbro is a strong all-around defenseman who excels at moving the puck. He was named the British Colombia Hockey League Defenseman of the Year last season after recording 67 points with the Penticton Vees. The 18-year-old should contribute in the next year or so for his favorite NHL team in the Predators, who went 41-27-14 last year and reached the second round of the NHL playoffs.
Bellows ended up with the New York Islanders, who took the forward with the 19th overall pick. Bellows, 18, is proficient at finding the back of the net, becoming the fourth 50-goal scorer in U.S NTDP history last season. The son of former NHL forward Brian Bellows, Kieffer joins Terrier captain Doyle Somerby as a member of the Islanders, who went 45-27-10 in the 2015-16 season. Bellows likely will need a couple of years with BU head coach David Quinn before moving on and bringing his physical style of play to the professional level.
It’s official: The Boston University men’s hockey team boasts a nine-member recruiting class for the 2016-17 season.
The Terriers took to Twitter Friday afternoon to announce each player individually, with several confirmations and one surprise arising. In sum, head coach David Quinn will soon be marshaling an additional six forwards, two defenseman and a goaltender.
Without further ado, below is the complete list, with jersey numbers also included.
Jake Oettinger (#29): This U.S. National Team Development Program netminder seems a likely challenger for the starting role from day one onwards. He put up a .908 save percentage and 2.38 goals against average last season, and boasts a 6-foot-4 frame.
Dante Fabbro (#17):The reigning BCHL Defenseman of the Year, Fabbro arrives on BU’s campus on the tail end of a 67-point season. He has also long represented Canada at the youth national team level, and is almost a guaranteed pick in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft.
Chad Krys (#5): The NTDP roots keep on coming with Krys, who scored three goals and handed out 26 assists across the 2015-16 season. Krys also was a member of the bronze-medal winning USA team at this year’s World Junior Championships. The 18-year-old’s father, Mark, captained BU.
Kieffer Bellows (#9): A product of the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede and the NTDP, this Minnesota native boasts quite the shot. The 18-year-old is the fourth player in NTDP history to score 50 goals in a season, and should be drafted in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft.
Gabriel Chabot (#10):Chabot’s inclusion raised some eyebrows, but he’s coming off an impressive campaign for the Rochester Jr. Americans of the USPHL in which he scored 50 points in 44 games. Interestingly, this Canadian will turn 21 in the middle of December.
Patrick Curry (#11):This 20-year-old has 147 games of USHL experience to his name, as he featured prominently for the Tri-City Storm and Bloomington Thunder. He tallied 30 goals and 36 assists across three seasons for those two squads.
Patrick Harper (#21): There was some speculation that Harper would test a junior league, but he’s Commonwealth Ave. bound. A product of Connecticut’s prestigious Avon Old Farms School, the 17-year-old tallied 106 points in 49 prep school games.
Clayton Keller (#19): Keller scored 37 goals and 70 assists in 62 games for the NTDP in 2015-16, altogether surpassing Phil Kessel as the program’s all-time leading scorer. Likely a center, the 17-year-old is often compared to speedy forwards like Patrick Kane and Zach Parise.
Johnny McDermott (#28): Much like Harper, McDermott is coming out of the New England prep school circuit. He tallied 80 points across three seasons for the Westminster School.
Quinn: “This is a class of quality & quantity. Every guy in this group brings something to our team that will help us compete for titles."
Ask almost any fan of the Boston University men’s hockey team what excites them most about the 2016-17 season and you’ll hear an iteration of the same word: talent.
Serving as an affirmation of sorts of what appears to be BU’s strongest underclassmen contingent in recent memory, the 2016 NHL Draft will take place June 24-25 in Buffalo, New York.
There are five Terriers – including one returner and four highly-regarded incoming recruits – who are virtual locks to hear their name called at some point by front office members. To more easily sift through what’s in store at First Niagara Center, The Boston Hockey Blog has your complete, BU-centric breakdown of the Draft.
Charlie McAvoy: NHL scouts are raving about the rising sophomore defenseman, and with good reason. One of two Terrier representatives on last year’s U.S. World Junior Championship team, the 6-foot-1, 211-pound blueliner was named a Hockey East All-Rookie selection. A native of Long Beach, New York, McAvoy finished his rookie season with three goals and 21 assists, often pairing with the recently-graduated Matt Grzelcyk.
What they’re saying:
“It may take [McAvoy] longer to get up to the level of speed of the college game, but knowing what I know about his game, I don’t think it’ll be that long. He’s going to be playing at a level that will allow NHL teams to say, ‘I can see where he’ll fit into our system and where he projects as a pro player.’ He will become a legitimate NHL defenseman.” – NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory
Projection: Mid-to-late first round
The New Guys
Kieffer Bellows: Without treading too deep into cliche-filled territory, Bellows simply knows how to find the back of the net. This future Terrier scored 50 goals and 31 assists for the U.S. National Team Development Program last year, becoming just the fourth forward in NTDP history to reach the 50-goal mark in a single season. Bellows, who recently turned 18, also nearly made the U.S. World Junior Championship Team.
What they’re saying:
“I don’t see a lot of deficiencies in his game. Having seen him play for the past three years, I’ve seen him just get better and better. As a younger player in high school, he’s playing with older guys, and where’s his skating compared to that? But he’s so young, you’ve got to give him time to develop and now that he has, that’s become a non-issue. He got bigger and he’s not afraid of the gritty stuff, so it’s hard to find a deficiency in his game.” – NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory
Projection: Mid-to-late first round
Dante Fabbro: The reigning British Colombia Hockey League Defenseman of the Year, Fabbro is touted by some NHL scouts as this year’s top draft-eligible blueliner. The 18-year-old played two seasons with the Penticton Vees and has featured prominently for Canadian youth teams. Altogether, Fabbro finished his BCHL career with 100 points, and it’s likely he’ll be a figurehead on Commonwealth Avenue for years to come.
What they’re saying:
His hockey IQ is among the best in this draft class. The way Fabbro moves the puck dictates the tempo of the shift. His passes are accurate but also very crisp, as he puts his full weight into a lot of his breakout passes. He’s so calm and aware on his outlets, and is a decent skater, which lets him rush the puck up as well. Fabbro can QB a power play, and has some creativity in his game. He’s got a decent frame, will engage his checks physically and is a quality positional player. There’s an occasional mistake on that end, but for the most part he’s a pretty sound player. – Corey Pronman, ESPN
Projection: Mid first round
Clayton Keller: Still only a 17-year-old, Keller is likely high on every team’s draft board. This future Terrier scored 37 goals and 70 assists in 62 games for the U.S. NTDP in 2015-16, altogether surpassing Phil Kessel as the program’s all-time leading scorer. Keller is often compared to Patrick Kane and Mitch Marner, and that’s pretty darn good company for any prospect.
What they’re saying:
“Keller’s strong suits aren’t antithetical to Kane’s with phenomenal vision, passing ability and the ability to create offense every time has the puck on his stick. As was previously mentioned the 5-foot-10-inch centerman has excellent vision, with the habit and talent to make cross-seam passes with ease and completing them on most occasions … Keller has the ability to take a step back and find passing lanes others wouldn’t have been exposed to had they not had his vision and creativity.” – Christopher Nardella, All Habs
Projection: Early first round
Chad Krys: Admittedly, it’s hard to get a read on BU’s soon-to-be freshman defenseman. He has long featured for U.S. youth teams, and was a key component of the NTDP’s 2015-16 season. The slight, however, is many scouts thought Krys could be a first-round selection, only to see his stock drop. The talent is undeniably there – as demonstrated by the numerous World Junior Championship medals he boasts – and years of maturation under head coach David Quinn could be just what he needs.
What they’re saying:
It was a tough year for NTDP defenseman Chad Krys. He started the year ranked as a potential first round Draft pick and as the U18s top defenseman, earned a rare underage spot on the US World Juniors team. So it goes without saying that there is enormous potential there. But for much of this season, Krys failed to deliver on that potential and saw his draft stock plummet as a result. The Draft is about the longview though, and if Krys can clean up some of the mistakes he was making this year, his potential is very intriguing as a future NHL player. – Chris Dilks, SB Nation College Hockey
Projection: Third or fourth round
Others to Watch
While not likely selections, it’s altogether possible that rising sophomore forward Bobo Carpenter and rising junior defenseman Brien Diffley get picked. Both were considered outside shots ahead of the 2015 Draft.
Who most excites you ahead of the NHL Draft? Could McAvoy or one of the four future Terriers gain or lose stock? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
With head coach David Quinn navigating the Boston University men’s hockey team through a pressure-packed Hockey East schedule, it’s sometimes easy to lose track of Terrier stars of yore. And the 2015-16 NHL season was chalked full of them, with seven vying for hockey’s holy grail.
Attempting to end a nine-year Stanley Cup drought, the below former BU stars gave it their all throughout April, May and June, but only the Pittsburgh Penguins stood tall in the end. Check out the comprehensive list below to learn who joined Joe DiPenta as the last BU alum to hoist the Cup. He did so in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks; that’s right, the same team that boasted Teemu Selanne, Chris Pronger and the Niedermayer brothers.
It’s been a long time coming.
Nick Bonino – Pittsburgh Penguins
For the second time in eight years, Sidney Crosby and co. emerged as the last team standing. Their fans can thank their lucky stars that Bonino centered the ever-productive line featuring Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin. The center tallied four goals and 14 assists in the Penguin’s 24 playoff games this season. His 18 playoff points tie Chris Drury for most ever by a Terrier.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect on Bonino’s playoff run was that he came up in clutch situations, time and time again. For BU hockey fans – who will long remember how the center notched a goal and assist in the 2009 NCAA title game – it was like a trip down memory lane.
The first overtime zinger bounced the seemingly unstoppable Washington Capitals from the second round. It wasn’t the prettiest of finishes, but sometimes all it takes is being in the right place at the right time.
For most forwards, one game-winner in the playoffs is enough. Bonino would beg to differ. “Mr. Clutch” rose to the occasion again in the Stanley Cup Final’s opening game, this time firing a swift wrister past goaltender Martin Jones in the third period’s dying moments. Game, set, match. – JS
Matt Nieto – San Jose Sharks
Nieto may have missed eight games after suffering from an upper-body injury in the second round, but the left winger still managed to contribute to the Shark’s Stanley Cup run. A staple on the third line, Nieto’s efforts weren’t enough to stop Pittsburgh’s 4-2 series win.
His lone playoff goal came in Game 5 of the opening round against the Los Angeles Kings, when he stuffed in a rebound in the second period to give San Jose a dominating 3-0 lead.
Nieto, who led BU in goals (18) during his junior season in 2013, finished the regular season with 17 points. – NF
Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues
With youth aging like a fine wine, the Blues seemed poised for a deep playoff run. They accomplished just that, ultimately falling in a six-game Western Conference Finals series to the San Jose Sharks. Shattenkirk, a staple of BU’s 2009 national title-winning side, demonstrated guile and conviction as Stanley Cup dreams swelled.
The blueliner kept some of the NHL’s best and brightest – the least of which were Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars – relatively quiet, paving the way for consecutive seven-game series wins. True to his form, Shattenkirk also contributed offensively, chipping in two goals and nine assists. While Shattenkirk and the Blues fell short of their ultimate goal, their 2015-16 season was nothing to be ashamed of. – JS
Colin Wilson, Nashville Predators
Coming off a disappointing regular season, Wilson came alive in the playoffs, recording five goals and eight assists in 14 postseason games. The left wing scored a point in seven consecutive games, a new Nashville postseason record, and came through when his team needed him the most. His goal in the first period of Game 7 of the opening round versus the Ducks gave the Predators the early lead, and his three points in Game 4 of the second round against the Sharks helped tie the series at two apiece.
The 2009 USA Hockey College Player of the Year while at BU, Wilson led the Predators in playoff scoring, but his team fell to the Sharks in seven games. Wilson played for the Terriers for two years, winning a national championship under coach Jack Parker in 2009. – NF
Brian Strait, New York Islanders
A Terrier from 2006 to 2008, Strait did not get a chance to participate in the playoffs after suffering an upper-body injury in a game April 5. The Waltham native finished the year with 1 goal and 6 points in 53 games played. – NF
Charlie Coyle, MIN
After playing all 82 games for the Wild in the regular season, Coyle tallied a goal and an assist before Minnesota fell to top-seeded Dallas in six games. The 2011 Hockey East Rookie of the Year while on Commonwealth Avenue, the second-line center played over 112 minutes for the Wild in the series. – NF
Mike Sullivan, PIT head coach
The 2015-16 season was Sullivan’s first season at Pittsburgh’s helm, but he never truly looked out of his element. He officially was named head coach in December, and guided the Penguins to a dominant 16-8 record throughout the playoffs. With that vein of form in mind, as well as the bevy of talent at his disposal, it’s no surprise the 48-year-old won hockey’s biggest prize.
Offering a calm presence behind the bench, Sullivan remained humble every step of the way.
Coach Sullivan: "I dont know how to explain it. I can't put it into words. I can't be more proud of the way we've come together as a team."
One of the Boston University men’s hockey team’s most experienced forwards has left the program ahead of the 2016-17 season.
Robbie Baillargeon has transferred to Arizona State University as a graduate student. The Sun Devils, who captured the the 2014 ACHA national title, are entering their first season of Division I competition.
Baillargeon began his college hockey career at Agganis Arena in 2013, bursting onto the scene as a bright spot from a 10-21-4 season. The Enfield, Connecticut native’s 27 points were best on the team, while his 10 goals and 17 assists were both tied for the team lead.
Also the Ottawa Senators’ fifth round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Baillargeon’s torrid scoring pace slowed down come his sophomore campaign.
His three goals and 13 assists were helpful contributions en route to BU capturing a Beanpot Trophy, Hockey East regular season title and Hockey East Tournament championship. Baillargeon, who starred with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL before joining the Terriers, also battled mononucleosis in 2014-15.
Come Baillargeon’s junior year, his performances became inconsistent, as head coach David Quinn tossed various linemates his way. The future Sun Devil finished with six goals and six assists, with a trio of three-game point streaks popping up throughout the 2015-16 season.
After BU was bounced from the 2016 NCAA Tournament by the University of Denver on March 26, speculation arose that Baillargeon would finish his college career beyond Commonwealth Avenue. He wasn’t named a captain of any sort for his senior season, and now he’ll take his talents to The Grand Canyon State’s up-and-coming program.
Boston University’s home schedule was released Wednesday afternoon. The Terriers will play 18 games at Agganis Arena, including 11 Hockey East games.
BU will open its season with exhibition games versus the University of Prince Edward Island on Oct. 1 and the U.S. National Under-18 Team on Oct. 6. The Terriers fell to the Under-18 squad, 7-4, last year, with incoming freshmen in forwards Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows, goaltender Jake Oettinger and defenseman Chad Krys featuring prominently.
Head coach David Quinn’s squad will then return to Commonwealth Avenue on Oct. 21 to host Sacred Heart University. It will be the first ever meeting between the two programs. The following night, 2015-16 national runner-up Quinnipiac University will come to town for its first contest at Agganis in team history. Boston University got the best of the Bobcats last season, defeating the country’s then-No. 2 squad, 4-1, in Connecticut.
The Terriers will then host their first conference opponent on Nov. 5, when defending Hockey East champion Northeastern University makes the short trip from Matthews Arena. BU will then play the University of Connecticut at home two weeks later.
Harvard University comes to Agganis Arena for a non-conference game on Nov. 22 after the Terriers earned a 6-5 win on the road over the Crimson last season. BU’s next home game is against Providence University, who defeated the Terriers in the 2015 national championship. The Friars and the Terriers played twice last season, with both games resulting in ties.
BU will then host Yale University on Dec. 13, the final game before the holiday break. It will be the first trip to Agganis for the Bulldogs since 2009. After the holidays, the Terriers will begin the second half of the regular season with a game versus Union College on Jan. 5. That matchup will be the last non-conference home game of the season.
After the Union game, Boston University’s last eight home games will be with familiar foes. Boston College comes to Agganis on Jan. 13 as part of the Green Line Rivalry. The Terriers then host the University of Maine on Jan. 20, Merrimack College on Jan. 27 and the University of Massachusetts Lowell the following night. BU had a 4-3-1 record against those four teams last season.
In February, the University of Massachusetts Amherst comes to town on Feb. 3, while the University of New Hampshire visits the Terriers Feb. 17. BU will wrap up the regular season with a pair of home games versus the University of Notre Dame, who will be leaving Hockey East next season for the Big Ten Conference. The Terriers split a pair of games with the Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana last year.
The full 2016-17 regular season schedule will be released in the coming weeks.