The BHB’s BU Men’s Hockey All-Decade Starting Lineup

With New Years upon us, we are not only going to see the end to the year 2019, but the end of the 2010s decade as well. So, in the spirit of the new year and the new decade, here is my all-decade starting lineup for the Boston University men’s hockey team. All opinions are my own.

Forwards:

Danny O’Regan – Jack Eichel – Evan Rodrigues

Comprising David Quinn’s top unit during Eichel’s lone season with the team (2014-15), this line set the world on fire that year. These three were instrumental in helping BU win the Beanpot and Hockey East before falling just short in the National Championship.

Sure, Eichel had one season, but the now Buffalo Sabres’ captain posted 26 goals and 45 assists for a ludicrous 71 points, the fifth-highest single-season number in program history, en route to joining Matt Gilroy and Chris Drury as the only Terriers to have won the Hobey Baker Award.

O’Regan was productive in all four of his seasons for BU, totaling 38, 22, 50, and 44 points. His numbers during his junior season (23-27-50) were certainly boosted by his linemates, but O’Regan, who posted 154 career points, still would have had no problem reaching the 100-point plateau without his impressive junior season.

Rodrigues, like O’Regan, enjoyed the fruits of playing with Eichel as he had 21-40-61 totals that season. Another Terrier in the 100-point club (121 total), Rodrigues was especially productive for BU during his sophomore and junior seasons, and, like O’Regan, earned an ‘A’ on his sweater during his senior campaign.

Honorable Mentions (Forwards):

Ahti Oksanen – Clayton Keller – Bobo Carpenter

Oksanen showed a lot of growth on the offensive end over his four-year tenure. A net-front presence on the power play, the rangy Finn improved his point total each of his first three seasons, putting up 25 goals and 13 assists for 38 points during his junior season: his most productive year at BU. With 115 career points, he’s worth mentioning among the best of the 2010s.

Keller only played one season for the Terriers, but still managed to lead the team in scoring as a freshman and was an integral part of the team’s attack. With 21-24-45 totals during the 2016-17 campaign, Keller was a key contributor in helping the Terriers earn a spot in the national tournament.

A four-year Terrier and senior captain, Carpenter was among the heart and soul of the Terrier lineup and another skater who improved his production each year before injuries forced him to miss 11 games in his final season. Another member of the 100-point club, Carpenter deserves recognition with this decade’s top dogs.

Defensemen:

Matt Grzelcyk – Dante Fabbro

Grzelcyk and Fabbro were both captains during their junior seasons, with Grzelcyk returning to wear the ‘C’ for his senior season as well. Fabbro, a highly-touted prospect for the Nashville Predators during his time at BU, improved in both the eye-test and box score over his collegiate career, seeing his point totals go from 18 to 29 to 33 before signing his NHL contract after his junior season. With 80 career points in three campaigns, the door was certainly open for the d-man to hit the 100-point mark had he stayed for a fourth year.

Grzelcyk was a staple on the blueline for the Terriers during his four seasons, coupling steady play in his own end with solid offensive production. The Charlestown, Mass. native notched 95 points in his NCAA career, made even more impressive after an injury-plagued sophomore season.

Honorable Mentions (Defense):

Brandon Hickey – Charlie McAvoy

Hickey never blew anyone away offensively as his best season on that front featured 6-11-17 numbers. However, his impact was strongest in the defensive zone and in the locker room, providing steady defense and earning the captaincy his senior season.

McAvoy was strong in both ends for the Terriers during his two seasons under Coach Quinn. Finishing with totals of 3-22-25 in his freshman campaign and 5-21-26 during his sophomore year, McAvoy showed flashes of the all-around force on the back end that Boston Bruins brass and fans hope he will become.

Goaltender:

Jake Oettinger

Oettinger’s undeniable ability and consistency through his three seasons earn him the starting spot for the all-decade lineup. The Dallas Stars prospect was nothing short of dominant during his freshman season (.927 save percentage and 2.11 goals-against average) and kept the bar high in his junior campaign (.926 save percentage and 2.45 GAA). Part of what made Oettinger’s junior year so impressive was his strong play behind a sub-.500 Terrier squad that was clearly experiencing growing pains. Oettinger helped take BU to two Beanpot finals during his tenure, and the now-21-year old netminder helped lead the Terriers to a Hockey East title.

Honorable Mention (Goalie)

Matt O’Connor

O’Connor was a key cog for BU, especially during his junior season where he posted a phenomenal .927 save percentage and 2.18 GAA in 35 appearances, helping the Terriers to a Beanpot and a Hockey East title. However, with Oettinger’s consistency and the way O’Connor’s stint on Comm. Ave ended – which we would all rather forget – he gets nudged out of the starting lineup.

8 thoughts on “The BHB’s BU Men’s Hockey All-Decade Starting Lineup”

  1. Right on with the O men and D men Patrick. As to the goalie situation I would leave it blank. All the goalies of the decade were sub average. O’Connor, really ??? I wake up some nights in a sweat seeing that goal he let in in the Championship game at the Boston Garden. I hate to bring this up but due to what was happening to one member of the team at that time the “tending” was very suspicious to say the least. As to Oettinger he was the most overrated goalies in the history of hockey. Look at his record as to championship series. Horrible. He was a first round choice who still is in the minors.He will be out of hockey in to years.Yeas the team of the decade should play with six skaters sans goalie.

  2. I like the picks Patrick as good as Keller and eichel were they only played one season so I might have omitted them just because there impact was not felt long term over the program. That’s not a knock on them or there talent. I might have put Caso Homan on list he meant a lot to his BU teams. As for goalies spot on you picked two good ones . I know son of Cesar is disappointed in our keepers but Jake was solid for our team his numbers indicate this he’s not only one of the best goalies of the decade but of program history. Matt O’Conner was a great goalie as well. The goal that went in was nothing more then a fluke if that goal was scored in a game in October no one would remember it. In sports those things happen the rest of what your hinting around at is total nonsense. Not sure if Patrick or the rest of the staff know the history but I do as I was close to most of the players on that team and the infraction involved college football not hockey and for you to make this aleggation is ridiculous. As always go bu big second half coming up.🐾

    • Hey Colin, I appreciate the insight. Cason Hohmann would have been a good guy to look at, but he never came to mind, so that one’s on me. As for the incident you’re talking about with O’Connor, I was getting at the collapse at the national championship. Not sure what you’re getting at with an infraction involving college football.

  3. Patrick a player was suspended for college football betting son of cezar was hinting that the tough goal O’Connor let in was suspicious which is ridiculous . As always you guys do a great job with your articles I just can not let someone attack the program like that without answering back.

    • Alright, now I understand what you were getting. Thanks for the support, Colin! By the way, have a happy New Year from all of us here!

  4. Colin says Jake was one of the “greatest”. I have SEEN more goalies than he has by a great multiplier. Jake could not move and had a terrible record in games that counted although to be fair he did not have the best teams about him . As to the O’Connor goal one has to always have a question what happened because of the situation that Colin ADMITS was going on at the time.. I did not think college hockey was “on the board’ at the time but a big time gambler I know says Vegas will take bets on anything. Hate to say this as I am BU Hockey all the way but it was the talk of my alumni group for some time. The fact that any of the BU players that ear were involved in gambling should have barred them from competition. Now we have Colin’s OWN TESTIMONY that this was so. That was a tough time for BU Hockey because of the player suspensions for other transgressions. As someone who had such great control of the the team I don’t know how Parker let all of this get out of his control. during that time. Really hard to understand what happened there. Better time ahead for our team in 2020.

    • Interesting debate SOCC and Colin. Let’s leave this here – on to the second half for the 2019/20 team.

  5. I am going to count the 10 seasons as 2009-2010 through 2018-2019. That way I get to include Bonino, one of my favorite forwards to watch, who played the first few months of 2010.

    Every team would love to have a Rodrigues, Oksanen & Carpenter on the roster & it’s great they played all 4 years, but don’t forget the impact players BU had to start the decade. Nick Bonino, Alex Chiasson, Matt Nieto were all capable of making big time plays at big time moments. We also got to watch an early version of Bobo Carpenter in Chris Connolly as he was a consistent point producer & end his 4 year career with 129 points.

    The beginning of the decade also had high quality college level defensemen in Colby Cohen, Adam Clendening, & David Warsofsky was a like an early Grzelcyk.

    The goaltending also got off to a good start in the decade with Kieran Millan.

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