On the bus back to Boston from Albany, following the Boston University men’s ice hockey team’s defeat to St. Cloud State in the NCAA Tournament, senior defenseman David Farrance put pen to paper on his first NHL contract.
Farrance signed a two-year, entry level deal with the Nashville Predators, the club that drafted him in the third round of the 2017 NHL Draft. Farrance had his first press conference with the Predators this morning, speaking to media members about his transition from BU to Nashville.
“It’s been quite the turnaround,” Farrance said. “Getting down here, we drove here, so quarantine could be a few less days, but so far it’s been pretty good.”
Farrance departs BU with 88 points (26g, 62a) in 113 games. The two-time Hobey Baker top 10 finalist and Hockey East First Team All-Star defenseman reflected on his final moments as a Terrier after an impressive college career.
“I just couldn’t believe it was over. Those four years go by so quick, and you don’t really appreciate it enough until it’s over,” Farrance said.
Farrance said his four years on Commonwealth Avenue made him more mature as a player and person, citing the relationships he had with older players as having a foundational effect on his development.
One of those older players Farrance referred to, Dante Fabbro, joined the Predators after the Terriers’ 2018-19 season. The former Terrier captain has 11 points (2g, 9a) in 35 games with the Predators this year, matching his point total from 64 games last season. Farrance expressed excitement at the possibility of playing with his college teammate.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Fabs again,” Farrance said. “Great guy, great leader and just looking forward to, you know, maybe possibly sitting on a bench with him again.”
Predators head coach John Hynes is also a BU alum, winning a national championship in 1995 and graduating in 1997. Farrance said he sat down with Hynes over Zoom and went through some game tape while discussing expectations for Farrance and the team.
With Nashville, Farrance anticipates playing a similar two-way game that he played at BU, and is excited to learn from 2020 Norris Trophy winner Roman Josi and the rest of the defensemen on the roster.
“It’s a great group of defensemen to learn from, and just a good group of pros, so I don’t really have many expectations. I just, I’m looking forward to learning and excited to get in NHL video sessions, and you know, learn from guys like that firsthand,” he said.
Needing to pass time on the bus ride up and still waiting out the rest of his quarantine period, Farrance has dipped back into a hobby from his national team days: chess. From playing with former Yale defenseman and USNTDP teammate Phil Kemp every day to getting back into the game after watching The Queen’s Gambit during the pandemic, Farrance claims he’s become “quite the chess player.”
“I play online chess a lot, as nerdy as that sounds. It’s just a good way to pass time,” Farrance said.
As Farrance moves on to his next chapter, he is especially excited to play in the city of Nashville in front of the Predators’ fan base.
“[Nashville is] probably one of the best cities you could play in,” Farrance said. “I love the city, and the fans seem amazing; probably the best fan base in the NHL, so really looking forward to getting to see fans start to pile in the building, and hopefully that opens up soon.”