By James Garrison
This article is part of the 2022-2023 printed “Hockey Edition” that will be available on campus Friday, Sept. 30 and at both men’s and women’s opening nights. Be sure to get your copy!
With the Jay Pandolfo era underway on Commonwealth Ave, the Terrier hockey program finds itself in somewhat of a unique position – a group with a “win-now” mindset is also in a transitional period.
A Terriers squad heavy on juniors and seniors are also welcoming in some talented freshmen to the mix. Those freshmen will undoubtedly be part of a very different-looking group on Comm. Ave in the years to come.
With a generational talent like Macklin Celebrini waiting in the wings, a bright future lies ahead at BU. Until that time comes though, the final recruiting class of Albie O’Connell will take the ice for Jay Pandolfo in just a few days with much to prove about the present as well as the future.
“BU Hockey [is] just about character kids that love to play hockey and get better,” associate coach Joe Pereira said. “We wanted to be a program where we’re going to be hard to play against, we’re going to be fast and it’s going to be 60 minutes of hell. We want to suffocate teams and that’s what we’re going to look to recruit.”
Here’s a brief look at some of the freshman who will be taking the ice for the first time in game action this weekend as Terriers:
The 62nd overall selection by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2022 draft possesses high-end offensive ability, starting with his ability to move the puck up the ice quickly. The 18-year old undersized defenseman racked up 95 points last season with the U.S. National Development Program.
“[Hutson] might be one of the better, smaller defenseman we’ve had in this program in a long, long time,” said Pereira. “I think he can really leave his mark.”
The 5’8” left-shot defenseman has garnered early comparisons to his teammate and captain, Domenick Fensore for their shared high-end breakout ability. Both Hutson and Fensore can quarterback an offense from the backend.
“They are very similar, but they are somewhat different too,” Pereira said. “One wants to push the pace so much and the other guy wants to move it and go.”
Like David Farrance before him, Fensore will be able to use his heightened leadership position to bring Hutson along for his first season of college hockey.
“From the beginning of this year, Lane just came out and showed why he is what he is,” Fensore said. “It’s pretty easy to talk to him and tell him what to do because he listens and he’s a hard worker.”
With the offseason departure of Alex Vlasic to the Chicago Blackhawks, an opportunity awaits for Hutson to round out BU’s top four on the left side – likely next to either Ty Gallagher or Case McCarthy.
After an almost point-per-game stint last season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, Greene received his draft call just a few spots above Hutson at 57th overall to the Chicago Blackhawks.
The 6’1” center hailing from Newfoundland has impressed early on with a solid two-way game that can add depth to the Terriers’ forward corps.
“Greenie skates really well,” said Pereira. “He’s long. Really good two way center.”
Greene will have to navigate his way through a crowded group of forwards this year. Greene’s skill will only add to a club where there is more than enough to go around, especially up front.
The final selection in last summer’s draft went 69th overall to the Philadelphia Flyers. A mix of grit and skill for Kaplan, along with his solid size will go a long way for the freshman who, in the eyes of Pereira, has a bright future ahead.
“Kaplan is a kid that I think is only going to get better and better,” said Pereira. “He brings some size, some grittiness, [and] he’s got great skills. I really think he has a bright future here and at the next level.”
A teammate of Lane Hutson’s last year at the National Program, Kaplan tallied 56 points, along with a strong showing at the U18 World Championships, where he scored a point a game.
With multiple right-shot wingers like Ethan Phillips and Dylan Peterson, it is unclear exactly where Kaplan will slot in.
Jeremy Wilmer, Lachlan Getz, and Quinn Hutson will also figure into this years’ Terriers squad. These freshmen, alongside the rest of the group, will face off against Bentley on Saturday, where the first chapter for some will be the last first chapter for others.