By James Garrison
Ahhhh…the blessed constant news cycle of college hockey.
Terrier fans got to see their team in the Frozen Four for the first time since 2015. It didn’t end the way they wanted, but they got a pretty solid National Championship game as a consolation prize.
Let’s hope they didn’t want any time off Twitter, because a flurry of activity on Monday kept the college hockey conversation alive just a little bit longer before the long summer ahead.
Much of the news concerned Boston University, so let’s dive into it.
A major shake-up between the pipes is upon us
The Terriers biggest question mark heading into October just got a bit bigger.
Drew Commesso’s departure to the Chicago Blackhawks organization on Monday was not nearly the most surprising news of the day –– it was inevitable, in fact. What came as a surprise to most though, was junior goaltender Vinny Duplessis’ name at the top of the transfer portal.
With last season’s goaltending duo headed elsewhere, BU has an empty net to fill before the start of the 2023-24 season.
The Terriers have a potential goalie of the future in Michael Chambre, who is part of the sizable freshman class arriving on Comm Ave this fall. The Florida native has spent his last two seasons with the U.S. NTDP, and is the 24th ranked North American goalies by NHL Central Scouting.
After three seasons of stellar backup work behind Commesso, Duplessis seemed poised to take on the transition year between the pipes –– a reward for his constant clutch performances. That will not be the case.
Mark Divver of the New England Hockey Journal has reported that former Brown goaltender Mathieu Caron could be headed to Boston next season. In his sophomore year, Caron posted impressive numbers on a subpar Brown squad. Along with a .921 save percentage and a 2.49 goals against average, Caron started in all but one of Brown’s victories last season.
The British Columbia native may be the answer between the pipes for the Terriers.
Seniors search for a new fifth-year home
It didn’t take long for many outgoing seniors to take their fifth year elsewhere. Ethan Phillips, John Copeland, Jamie Armstrong and Brian Carrabes all entered the transfer portal on Monday.
It seemed like Phillips, Copeland and Armstrong all found themselves in similar situations. With the amount of freshmen coming in next season, it seemed unlikely that a spot was even available for those three seniors.
Armstrong put together a very solid senior season in scarlet and white that was held back due to a midseason injury. If the bottom-six winger can put together an equally strong, healthy season elsewhere, he may be looking at a pro contract somewhere in the future.
Phillips struggled to find any amount of consistency in his four years as a Terrier as a result of dealing with varying degrees of injuries in his last three seasons. Much like Ty Amonte, Phillips will hope for a fully healthy fifth season where he can be put in a role to succeed.
Copeland trended in a positive direction all season, establishing himself as the sixth defenseman and dressing regularly in the second half of the season. Copeland played valuable shifts to help ease the load after Case McCarthy’s season-ending injury. Although a professional contract may not await Copeland, he’ll at least have one more year of college hockey.
The only non-senior of the group, Brian Carrabes, did not have much of an opportunity to make a difference this year. With two years remaining of his college eligibility, the energetic winger will hope to find a landing spot with more consistent playing time.
Hutson makes it official
Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday night that the Terriers’ freshman phenom would likely be staying for his sophomore season. In an Instagram post Monday night, Lane Hutson made his return official.
There were more reasons than not for Hutson to stay another year. Although the undersized defeseman’s transition to college hockey was seamless, a jump to the NHL at only 150 pounds may not be the best strategy, no matter how dominant he’s been.
After coming up just short of being both a Hobey hat trick finalist and a national champion, Hutson will get another shot at both. The culture that Pandolfo has quickly established made Hutson’s return more likely than if Hutson had been a part of Terrier teams of prior years.
There’s two more reasons, and their names are Quinn Hutson and Macklin Celebrini. I think you can probably figure out both for yourself.
If he stays a third season, he can play with his younger brother, and all three Hudson boys can be on the same team. Wishful thinking I know.