Boston University hockey fans have reason to tune into the NHL Draft when it begins on June 22 in Dallas.
After a successful freshman campaign with the Terriers, forward Brady Tkachuk is expected to go as high as third overall and is the second-ranked North American skater in the draft according to NHL.com.
Tkachuk has not ruled out returning to the Agganis Arena ice for another go-round in Hockey East, but being a top-five selection would make it difficult for the physical winger to return to college.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 197-pounder was one of the Terriers’ most active contributors on the offensive end all season. He led the team with 23 assists and 131 shots, the most of any freshman in the country. His +15 plus-minus was the second-best on the squad and his 31 points were the fourth-most.
His performance on the ice was rewarded following the season, as he was named a member of the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. Tkachuk was a prime example of former head coach David Quinn’s recruiting prowess. Quinn had seven players selected in the 2017 NHL Draft after seeing four of his pupils selected in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft.
Tkachuk serves as one of the final gems of Quinn’s recruiting legacy, one which concluded when he accepted the head coaching job with the New York Rangers last month. Quinn’s new hockey club holds the ninth pick, but Tkachuk will likely be swiped off the board by then.
The two-time Hockey East Top Performer could join former Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien in Montreal. The Canadiens have expressed interest and Tkachuk’s NHL-ready body provides him with the ability to assist a talent-depleted Montreal roster sooner rather than later.
Another potential landing spot for Tkachuk is Arizona. The Coyotes are another team in need of a boost, as they have not made the playoffs since 2012. Multiple Phoenix media outlets have conveyed general manager John Chayka’s interest in selecting Tkachuk, who would be joining former Terrier Clayton Keller on a club which accumulated the fewest points in the Western Conference in 2017-18.
Unlike past seasons, BU will not have a collection of players waiting to hear their name called on draft night. Funny enough, the majority of the Terriers front-line performers have already been selected in previous years.
In 2017, Cam Crotty was picked by the Coyotes, Kasper Kotkansalo was selected by the Detroit Red Wings, David Farrance by the Nashville Predators, Logan Cockerill by the New York Islanders, Shane Bowers by the Ottawa Senators and Jake Oettinger by the Dallas Stars.
A year prior, Chad Krys went to the Chicago Blackhawks while Dante Fabbro and Patrick Harper both landed with the Predators. Take away Tkachuk, and the Terriers still have loads of NHL-level talent projected to be on the 2018-19 roster.
In terms of the players who have not been drafted, there is not too much chatter surrounding Beanpot hero Ty Amonte despite his name being floated around in draft speculation last summer.
BU will likely have another first round pick in addition to Tkachuk. Incoming freshman forward Joel Farabee is listed as a likely first-round pick. The Cicero, New York native is ranked number 12 among North American skaters and mock drafts have him within the first 15 picks.
Boston Hockey Blog Draft Prediction: Top 10-15 pick.
Farabee won’t have to look too far to see another future Terrier being drafted, all he really needs to do is look to his right as his linemate with the USDP Jake Wise. Wise is expected to be the second future Terrier and third Terrier overall being drafted this season.
Boston Hockey Blog Draft Prediction: Late first round
BU has one other incoming freshman who might hear his name called. Ranked number 166 among North American Skaters is Jack DeBoer. Although he is the son of the head coach of the San Jose Sharks, he is not a lock to be drafted. For a point of reference, current Terrier senior forward and captain Bobo Carpenter was ranked 119 among North American skaters for the 2014 draft and went undrafted.
Although the Boston University men’s hockey team will not return to action until the first weekend of the new year, some Terriers will be wearing the jersey of their respective country over the break.
Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk, sophomores goaltender Jake Oettinger and forward Patrick Harper will represent Team USA in the World Junior Championship which begins play Tuesday, Dec. 26.
Harper leads BU with 21 points, tied for first in assists with 13 and tied for second in goals with 8. Tkachuk leads Terrier freshmen in points and assists with 14 and 10 respectively Oettinger has started 17 games for BU and has a .902 save percentage.
Both Harper and Oettinger skated on the gold medal-winning 2017 U.S. National Junior Team that bested Team Canada 5-4 in a shootout.
Skating for Team Canada is sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro. Fabbro leads the Terriers with 40 blocked shots and he has 12 points. Fabbro represented Canada in last year’s tournament–in which he took home a silver medal.
Playing for Finland is freshman defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo. Kotkansalo has two goals and three assists on the season.
These will not be the only Terriers playing in international tournaments over their break. Senior defenseman and captain Brandon Hickey was selected to represent team Canada in the Spengler Cup.
Hickey has three goals and two assists for the Terriers.
This weekend the Boston University men’s hockey team held its first ever season opener in the month of September. The Terriers beat Union College 4-1 on Saturday night after a three-point (2g, 1a) performance from sophomore forward Patrick Harper and game-winning goal notched by sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro.
On Sunday night, BU didn’t have the same luck against the University of Prince Edward Island during its exhibition game. After five minutes of overtime, the game ended in a 5-5 draw. However, the Terriers continued to have a productive power play with four power-play goals after scoring two during opening night, and freshman forward Brady Tkachuk and sophomore defenseman Chad Krys each tallied three points.
BU’s next matchup will be against Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 8). Tune in to the live blog for updates.
As if we needed anymore evidence that the young guys on the No. 5 Boston University men’s hockey team are crazy talented.
On Monday, USA Hockey announced the preliminary roster for the 2017 United States National Junior Team. Seven of the 27 athletes are current Terriers. Freshman defenseman Chad Krys and sophomore blue-liner Charlie McAvoy got the invite after leading last year’s U.S. NJT squad to a bronze medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
Along with Krys and McAvoy, freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger, sophomore forward Jordan Greenway, and freshman forwards Pat Harper, Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows made the first cut.
Four of the 27 players will be cut before this year’s IIHF WJC starts Dec. 26 in Canada. The final roster cuts are expected to be made Dec. 24.
Playing for the U.S. National Team is nothing new for most of the Terriers named to the preliminary roster. McAvoy, Oettinger, Keller, and Krys won gold with Team USA at the 2015 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, while Bellows joined Oettinger, Keller, and Krys to snatch bronze in the same tournament last year.
Training camp will be from Dec. 16-20 at HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York, then Dec. 20-24 in Ontario. There will also be two pre-tournament games on the 21st and 23rd.
Not to be outdone, freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro was named to the Canadian WJC selection camp. He joins North Dakota’s Tyler Jost as the only NCAA athletes to make the cut. Camp will be held from Dec. 10th to the 14th.
As a reminder, the Terriers host Yale University on Dec. 13th, then take on Union College Jan. 5th.
For the complete schedule for this year’s tournament, click here.
Fabbro (6 foot 1, 185 pounds) was one of the most sought-after defensive recruits to have not committed to a school.
Eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, he is considered by many pundits to be a top-10 pick in that draft. International Scouting Services has Fabbro ranked No. 8 in its October rankings of 2016 draft-eligible players.
So far this season with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL, Fabbro has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 10 games played. He had 33 points in 44 games last year with the Vees at age 16.
Fabbro skated with the Canadian U-18s during the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August, helping the team win a gold medal. The British Columbia, Canada native had reportedly been deciding between BU, Boston College, the University of Minnesota, the University of Denver and the University of North Dakota. He is expected to arrive on Commonwealth Avenue next season, along with fellow blue liners Chad Krys and Vasili Kolias.