Goaltender Drew Hotte commits to BU, another recruit for upcoming season

The recruits keep coming in for the Boston University men’s hockey team. It has been confirmed by the North American Hockey League that goaltender Drew Hotte has committed to BU and will play in the upcoming 2017-18 season.

The 20-year-old most recently stood between the pipes for the Johnstown Tomahawks (NAHL), but previously played in the United States Hockey League for the Waterloo Black Hawks and Madison Capitols.

During the 2016-17 season, Hotte posted a .913 goal save percentage, 2.43 goals against average and a 24-12-1 record with the Tomahawks. He also set the team record for the most wins during a single season.


A look back at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft

Jake Oettinger was the first goaltender selected in this year's draft. PHOTO COURTESY OF NHL.COM
Jake Oettinger was the first goaltender selected in this year’s draft. PHOTO COURTESY OF NHL.COM

It was another exciting and successful year at the NHL Entry Draft for Boston University men’s hockey fans and more importantly, the players being drafted.

One goaltender, two forwards, and four defenseman were all called during the two days at United Center in Chicago. While defenseman Ryan O’Connell is a 2018 recruit, the other six players will take the ice during the upcoming season.

Here’s a FreeP recap of the draft written by Liam to see how your Terriers fared throughout the weekend and below are some videos and Twitter updates.


The BU 2017 NHL Entry Draft preview

Have no fear Boston University men’s hockey fans, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft is almost here and many BU recruits as well as rising sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger are expected to hear their names called by league commissioner Gary Bettman.

Jake Oettinger after strong last season will likely be drafted in the first round. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Jake Oettinger will likely be drafted in the first round. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The first round of the draft will start tomorrow at 7 p.m. EST and the second through seven rounds will begin at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday. We will keep you updated throughout the draft via Twitter and post a draft recap for those of you who can’t tune in.

While there is still one more day before Oettinger and other future Terriers will learn their NHL fate at the United Center in Chicago, we have compiled a preview full of highlights, facts and projections to get you all ready and excited for this year’s NHL Entry Draft.

The Goaltender

Jake Oettinger

The 6-foot-4 netminder took Hockey East by storm his freshman season. His production is expected to translate into a favorable spot in the first round of the draft, with potential fits being the Chicago Blackhawks, who own the 26th selection, or the Dallas Stars with the 29th pick.

The Minnesota native ranked among the leaders in the NCAA with an impressive stat line, which included a .927 save percentage and 2.11 goals against average while leading the Terriers to a 21-11-3 record when he stood between goal.

Additional Thoughts

“Oettinger is the prototypical combination of size, position and athleticism that NHL teams are looking for in a starting goalie, and should be selected very high in this year’s NHL Draft. It’s rare to see goalies be selected in the first round of the Draft these days, but Oettinger’s measurable, combined with him showing he can play at the college level make him as safe a bet as a team could make in a future goalie.” – Chris Dilks, SB Nation College Hockey

Projection: Late first round

The New Terriers

Shane Bowers

The moment the 18-year-old center announced his commitment to BU in November, the excitement surrounding him has not diminished. This comes as no surprise as the Canadian-born player had a stellar season with the Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL). He finished 10th in the league after totaling 51 points (22g, 29a) in 60 games, including two goals and one assist in the postseason. Bowers has also represented his home country in numerous tournaments and was most recently a member of Canada’s Under-18 Team.

Additional Thoughts

“Waterloo’s Shane Bowers is a workhorse and is very effective around the net. He reads plays well and is very effective on rebounds, often positioned at the right position in front of the net to finish off plays. Possesses great speed with the puck and can escape defenders with 2-3 extra quick strides. Very smart decision maker.” – Dennis Schellenber, Hockey Prospectus

Projection: Late first round

Cameron Crotty

While this BU recruit may slide under the radar, some reports project Crotty to be selected as high as the late second round. The Ontario native picked up 31 points (7g, 24a) in his two years with the Brockville Braves (CCHL), but is known as a two-way defensemen and was named the CCHL Top Prospect for the 2016-17 season. The 18-year-old may need some time to grow and adjust to college hockey, but he has the potential to develop into a strong blueliner.

Additional Thoughts

“This is why I see Crotty as such an interesting sleeper pick: he may not make a big splash in college as a freshman, but he brings an intriguing skill set that will emerge over time and could be very valuable.” – Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News

Projection: Late second round or early third round

David Farrance

The defenseman been credited with containing a brilliant offensive acumen and should expect to hear his name called in the middle rounds of the draft. Armed with a stellar shot and commendable passing skills at the blue line, Farrance racked up seven goals and 30 assists with the USA National U-18 Team in 2016-17. He also starred in the U-18 World Championship, scoring a pair of goals to accompany an assist over a seven-game stretch.

Additional Thoughts

“Under six foot defender who is a mobile defenseman with terrific offensive skills and high end passing skills. Displays excellent vision and has the ability to the throw the home run stretch pass to a teammate with accuracy. Very good on the power play at moving the puck to the right option. Quick and precise in retrieval in his end, and a power play generator who reads his passing options but also has a rocket from the point.” – Bill Placzek, Draft Site

Projection: Mid-to-late third round

Kasper Kotkansalo

The defenseman may not find an NHL team until later in the draft, but he will likely provide a physical presence for BU on the blue line. The Finland native most recently played for the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) and tallied 12 points. However, Kotkansalo snagged six points in 13 games during the Finland Under-20 Tournament.

Additional Thoughts

“A two-way reliable defender with some offensive upside. … He handles and controls the puck well, displays high-end vision and his first pass is on target. He moves the puck efficiently and quickly in his passing game and finds his target under pressure…He’s just a reliable two-way guy who could develop into a strong offensive contributor at the next level.” – Future Considerations

Projection: Third or fourth round


Jake Witkowski commits to BU

It’s never too late to add another recruit to the 2017-18 Boston University men’s hockey roster, which already has players such as Shane Bowers and Ty Amonte. This afternoon Jake Witkowski tweeted his commitment to Boston University and is eligible to play this coming season as per Elite Prospects.

The forward played four seasons at Malden Catholic High before playing one year at Avon Old Farms School where he tallied 40 points (13g, 27a) in 27 games. Rising sophomore Patrick Harper, one of the leading goal-scorers during the 2016-17 season, was also a product of Avon Old Farms.

Witkowski most recently played one season for the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the BCHL. The 20-year-old played 58 games and amassed 40 points, however, found the back of the net 23 times.

The Melrose, Mass. native looks to be a nice addition to the Terriers and will add more depth to the strong offense in the upcoming season.



Jack Parker and Scott Young named to U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Earlier this morning, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017 was announced. Former head coach Jack Parker and current assistant coach Scott Young were honored alongside Kevin Collins, former BU assistant coach Ben Smith, and Ron Wilson.

Jack Parker

While Jack Parker stepped down as Boston University’s head coach after the 2012-13 season, he amassed a name that is still heard around Agganis Arena as well as etched into the ice as the Jack Parker rink.

Jack Parker has built a legacy with BU and in the world of USA hockey. PHOTO COURTESY OF BU TODAY
Jack Parker has built a legacy with BU and in the world of USA hockey. PHOTO COURTESY OF BU TODAY

In his 40 seasons of coaching BU men’s hockey, he won 897 games, the most wins at one school, which included three NCAA national championships, 11 Hockey East conference titles, and 21 Beanpot Tournament wins.

Parker also received the Spencer Penrose Award as NCAA Division I Coach of the Year three times (1975, 1978, 2009), a feat accomplished by only two other coaches.

During his time as head coach, the Somerville, Mass. native developed many United States hockey legends in the NHL and the Olympics such as Jim Craig and Mike Eruzione who participated in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Mike Sullivan, who recently won his second consecutive Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was also a notable player that learned under Parker’s leadership.

“I’m so pleased to be associated with everybody in the class, but obviously especially Ben,” Parker said in a live stream of a media conference today. “I have a great relationship with Scotty Young. He played for me and I’ve known him for such a long time and [he had] a fabulous NHL career. … [It’s] an unbelievable, humbling experience to go in with these guys and I think it will be a great night.”

Parker also cited that he would have never received the honor had it not been for Smith, who served as Parker’s assistant coach for nine years, because Smith kept him in “the good graces of USA hockey all these years.”

Aside from coaching the Terriers, Parker served as assistant coach of the U.S Men’s National Team in 1995, and head coach of the 1996 U.S. National Junior Team and 2013 U.S. Men’s Select Team.

Parker also had a memorable run during his time at BU, collecting three Beanpot victories and leading the 1968 team as captain his senior year.

Scott Young

Young is currently an assistant coach at BU with David Quinn, however, he played for Parker during his two years with the Terriers and was named Hockey East Rookie of the Year after his first season.

Scott Young has been an assistant coach for BU since September 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Scott Young has been an assistant coach for BU since September 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

The 11th overall draft pick in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, went on to have 17 seasons and 1,181 regular-season games in the NHL.

He successfully played with teams such as the Penguins and the Colorado Avalanche where he won two Stanley Cup championships in 1991 and 1996 respectively. He remains one of three former Terriers (Nick Bonino and Jay Pandolfo) to secure the NHL championship twice.

The Clinton, Mass. native was known for his goal-scoring especially game-winners and shorthanded goals and ranks No. 12 in goals among all American players. Young in his career took up positions as a forward and defenseman, and was renowned for his effectiveness on the power-play and penalty kill.

Throughout his NHL career, Young also represented the U.S. on the National Junior Team, in three Olympics Winter Games, and during the IIHF Men’s World Championships.

“I feel really honored to be inducted with this class because of the relationships that I have with Jack Parker, obviously being my coach at Boston University along with Ben Smith and Ben was also the assistant on the ’88 Olympic Team, and obviously playing for Ron Wilson,” Young said in the same media conference. “I actually played with Ron Wilson as a player also in the ’88 World Championships. So I got to see Ron as a player … and play with him and then be coached by him and then the ’96 World Cup and that was such a special time for us with USA hockey.”


BU alums faceoff in Stanley Cup playoffs once again

Another year of professional hockey came to a close last night as Nick Bonino, Mike Sullivan and the Pittsburgh Penguins hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row. This is the first time an NHL team has won the championship title in back-to-back years since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. 

Over the past three weeks, the Penguins had to get through the force of Colin Wilson and the rest of the Nashville Predators before securing a win in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Nick Bonino wins his second Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. PHOTO COURTESY OF ESPN
Nick Bonino won his second Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. PHOTO COURTESY OF ESPN

While Bonino and Wilson led the Terriers to an NCAA championship in 2009, the pair were on opposite ends of the ice as their teams battled for the NHL championship.

However, the BU alum action didn’t end there.

From April to June, Boston University hockey fans got to watch some of their favorite alums, even some very new ones like Charlie McAvoy, fulfill their dreams and take on the ice in the post-season.

Here’s a little overview of how your former Terriers fared.

Nick Bonino – Pittsburgh Penguins

Since scoring the game-tying goal with 15.4 seconds left in regulation of the 2009 NCAA title game against the University of Miami, the excitement surrounding Bonino has not dissipated. As a center on Pittsburgh’s third line, he has proven himself as a reliable member of the Penguins’ penalty kill unit and someone who pulls through in tough situations.

After ending the regular season with 37 points (18g, 19a), Bonino has found the back of the net in Game 1 of each playoff series except during the Eastern Conference Finals. He scored the game-winner against the Washington Capitals and had a two-goal night against the Predators.

However, Bonino’s most recent show of playoffs resiliency was returning to the bench the following period after taking a blocked shot to the ankle during Game 3 of the Finals. The Penguins second-year head coach and BU alum Mike Sullivan stated before Game 4 that, “Nick Bonino is a game-time decision.” Bonino did not return to the ice for the remainder of the series. – NH

Colin Wilson – Nashville Predators

The seventh selection in the 2008 NHL Draft has been a consistent performer for the Predators since joining the team at the beginning of his NHL career.

This spring, as the Predators enjoyed their most successful postseason stretch in franchise history, Wilson hopped on the ice for 12 games while racking up a pair of goals and assists each. Serving as the left wing on the team’s third line, Wilson opened his postseason up by netting the team’s first goal in its Western Conference Semifinal series against the St. Louis Blues after sitting out the first round with a lower-body injury.

He followed this tally up with a critical goal in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. With the Predators trailing the Anaheim Ducks by one goal in the hostile Honda Center environment, Wilson tied the game with 40 seconds remaining in the second period. He was able to beat the Ducks formidable goaltender Jonas Bernier with a backhanded shot on the power-play. His goal sparked momentum on Nashville’s side and led to a 3-1 win.

Wilson was forced to watch from the sidelines due to a lower-body ailment against the Penguins, but returned for Games 5 and 6, and played over 29 minutes in both games. – LO

Charlie McAvoy – Boston Bruins

After scoring the game-winning goal against North Dakota in BU’s NCAA championship quest, McAvoy signed an amateur tryout (ATO) contract with the Providence Bruins. However, after the Bruins’ injury-plagued season, McAvoy found himself alongside the likes of Zdeno Chára and Brad Marchand in the 2017 NHL playoffs.

Although the Bruins were unable to make it past the first round, McAvoy proved his worth as a steady blueliner and staple of Boston’s strong power-play unit. The 19-year-old defenseman played a minimum of 24 minutes in each game, the second-most on the team behind Chára. He also notched three assists over the series, including one in overtime. – NH

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – Boston Bruins

After being selected as the 45th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, “JFK,” as the Terriers faithful affectionately deemed him, joined the Bruins towards the end of the 2016-17 regular season.

While Forsbacka Karlsson did not see any ice time in Boston’s brief playoff run, he was called upon for over eight minutes during the regular season in a loss to the Washington Capitals on April 8. While he was unable to get a shot attempt on net, Forsbacka Karlsson did snag the first face-off victory of his career in 13 shifts. – LO

Kevin Shattenkirk – Washington Capitals

With 19 games remaining in the regular season, Shattenkirk was acquired by Washington in an attempt to beef up their defensive front for their halted title run. He racked up two goals and 12 assists in the regular season before posting 240 minutes of ice time in the postseason.

While this May will most likely be remembered most by Caps fans for their team’s listless performance in a shutout loss to the Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Shattenkirk provided Washington with its most thrilling moment of the postseason.

The Penguins appeared destined to grapple hold of an insurmountable 3-0 lead as the contest headed into overtime at PPG Paints Arena. However, Shattenkirk’s wrister on a power-play three minutes into the extra period gave the Capitals life in the series. – LO

Charlie Coyle – Minnesota Wild

The Weymouth, Mass. native has seen his points production rise steadily in every season of his NHL career, and 2016-17 was no exception to this trend. The third-liner racked up 18 goals (four power-play goals and five game-winning goals) and a career-high 38 assists on the season, accumulating the highest point total of his career with 56. He also made an impact defensively with 63 blocks.

Minnesota’s time in the playoffs was short-lived as they were bounced in five games by the Blues. However, Coyle made his mark, notching the Wild’s lone goal in a 3-1 loss in Game 3 before netting the go-ahead goal in Minnesota’s 2-0 win in Game 4, which allowed them to stave off a potential sweep. – LO

Eric Gryba – Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers enjoyed their first trip to the postseason since losing Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals to the Carolina Hurricanes, and Gryba appeared in 40 games as a platoon defenseman. He matched his career high with two goals on the season while notching four assists.

Gryba was on the bench for the majority of Edmonton’s run against the San Jose Sharks, receiving just 16 minutes of ice time and racking up a penalty in his lone appearance in the series. Against the Ducks, Gryba reached the ice in two games, including Game 7’s defeat. – LO

Alex Chiasson – Calgary Flames

Although he led the Terriers in points for two seasons in a row (2010-11 and 2011-12), Chiasson hasn’t replicated the same caliber with the Calgary Flames. Since joining the team this season, the right wing collected 24 points. During the playoffs, he saw the ice in all four games, but didn’t find the back of the net as Anaheim crushed Calgary 4-0 in the series. – NH

Adam Clendening – New York Rangers

Since being drafted 38th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft to the Chicago Blackhawks, Clendening hasn’t kept a stronghold on a team. The defenseman has signed with five teams in five years, including the New York Rangers as a free agent.

He has seen the most success with the Rangers in his NHL career. However, he did not see much ice time during the regular season when New York’s defense was at full-strength and has not taken a shift during the playoffs. – NH

Terriers release 2017-18 home schedule

Terrier fans can already begin planning their visits to Agganis Arena as the Boston University men’s hockey team announced their home schedule for 2017-18 on Wednesday afternoon.

Luckily for the BU faithful, the team is scheduled to begin their season earlier than ever before. For the first time since their inception, the Terriers will begin their regular season before October. BU will kick off its season at home for the first time since 1992-93 as they play host to Union on September 30.

The home crowd will be treated to numerous high-profile tilts this coming season, beginning with the Terriers’ jam-packed October slate featuring a handful of formidable opponents. On October 13 and 14, Minnesota State, the No. 1 overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, will pay a visit to Agganis Arena for a two-game series. This set marks the first ever matchup between the Mavericks and Terriers.

Just two weeks later, the stakes will be ratcheted up even further, as defending national champion the University of Denver will serve as a measuring stick for the Terriers. The Pioneers raced through the NCAA Tournament after being handed the No. 1 overall seed this past spring, and look to be one of the favorites to reach the Frozen Four in 2018. In what is likely to be a contest pitting two teams ranked in the top ten of the NCAA polls, BU will seek its fourth consecutive home victory over Denver.

The Terriers should not have to wait long to host another highly-ranked opponent. After the month of November, in which BU hosts three Hockey East opponents in the span of eight days (Providence College, Northeastern University, and University of New Hampshire), the rink heats up in the month of Christmas with visits from both Boston College (Dec. 2) and University of Massachusetts Lowell (Dec. 9). The Terriers’ crosstown enemies finished 16th in the USCHO.com rankings at the conclusion of 2016-17 while the River Hawks ended the season two slots above the Terriers at No. 4.

After an exhibition against the U.S. Under-18 National Team to begin 2018, BU will jump right back into Hockey East competition on January 6 with a matchup against the University of Maine. This is followed by a second home tilt against the Friars, who finished 15th in the USCHO.com rankings last season, before Merrimack College returns to Agganis Arena on January 20. The Warriors stunned the Terriers in the last week of January last season, blowing out BU 3-1 on home ice before shocking Hockey East with a 4-1 victory on Commonwealth Ave. three nights later.

The Hockey East competition continues in February, as BU will host University of Massachusetts Amherst on February 9 before a two-game home set against the University of Vermont to close out the month. The Terriers earned a split in their two games in Burlington, Vt. last season.

Meet Boston Hockey Blog’s new writers

Dear Boston Hockey Blog readers,

A few weeks ago this past year’s reporters Jonathan Sigal and Shelby Reardon graduated, and Nick Frazier returned from his semester abroad in London.

Unfortunately Nick will not be returning to cover the 2017-18 hockey season, but two new writers, Liam O’Brien and Nikki Havens, are excited to bring you the best coverage of BU men’s hockey. Through updates on the games (whether it’s Twitter, the live blog, or articles), the annual hockey preview edition, and much more, we hope to bring you another year of great content about Coach Quinn and the Terriers.

We hope you all have good summers, possibly catch a bit of the Stanley Cup playoffs for some BU hockey alum action, and are ready for another great season of hockey.

Below is a little bit about each of us before we begin posting content this summer. Get ready for lots of updates about the 55th NHL entry draft, which takes place on Friday, June 23!

Liam: Liam is a rising sophomore in B6634147-792F-4022-B2F2-4F418EA42610.JPGBoston University’s College of Communication with the goal of majoring in journalism. Despite being born in Philadelphia, he spent the majority of his childhood growing up just outside of Boston in Newton, Massachusetts. 

A close proximity to the city fostered a considerable passion for Boston sports, making Liam an avid fan of the Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox. Due to the fact that he has never hit the ice for a session of skating, the only hockey that took place in Liam’s early days was the occasional Stanley Cup Final game on television. However, the Bruins’ sensational run to a Stanley Cup Final championship in 2011 fostered an appreciation for the game. This was only heightened by Boston’s run to another Stanley Cup Final two seasons later and a bucketload of evenings spent supporting the Terriers at Agganis Arena in his freshman year at BU.

Now, Liam considers himself a fan of the game and is looking forward to covering the Terriers as they seek out a trip to the Frozen Four.

unnamedNikki: Nikki is also a rising sophomore in the College of Communication and intends on majoring in journalism. She is from a small town in the East Bay of San Francisco, but moved to Hong Kong during high school because of her mom’s job. Ever since moving to a large city, she knew she wanted to go to a school with the same atmosphere and she loves Boston so BU was the perfect fit.

Growing up Nikki did not have a large passion for hockey; however as soon as she stepped foot in Agganis Arena, her love of hockey grew like a wild fire. Last semester, she covered the BU’s women’s hockey and men’s lacrosse teams, and this coming semester, she will serve as an Associate Sports Editor alongside Liam.

The Boston Hockey Blog can also be found on Facebook and Twitter so please like/send us a follow if you don’t already! Feel free to send Liam and Nikki a follow, and look at some of the articles Nikki and Liam have written in the past for The Daily Free Press.