Jordan Greenway to return for junior season

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PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

One of Boston University’s go-to forwards will return for the 2017-18 season.

Jordan Greenway, amidst speculation that he would turn pro with the Minnesota Wild, has confirmed to The Boston Hockey Blog that he’ll be back for his junior season.

The announcement comes as a boon to Terrier hockey fans, as forwards Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Clayton Keller and defenseman Charlie McAvoy have all signed early with NHL teams.

With Greenway back, BU now retains three of its top six forwards from the 2016-17 campaign, including rising sophomore Patrick Harper and rising junior Bobo Carpenter. Across his first two seasons at Agganis Arena, the 20-year-old amassed 57 points (15 goals, 42 assists) in 76 games.

During his sophomore season, Greenway helped Team USA win a gold medal at the World Junior Championships. Clocking in at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Greenway was drafted in the second round in 2015 by Minnesota.

 

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson signs with Bruins, forgoes final two years at BU

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson played 78 games at BU. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson played 78 games at BU. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

And then there were three.

Days removed from sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy and freshman forward Clayton Keller turning pro early, sophomore center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson has also taken the NHL path.

The 20-year-old Swede signed with the Boston Bruins on Sunday evening, foregoing his final two years of NCAA eligibility for life on Causeway Street. Instead of joining McAvoy with the Providence Bruins, “JFK” will join the Black and Gold ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Serving as an alternate captain during the 2016-17 BU season, he posted 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points. Notably, the Terriers were 9-0-1 when “JFK” scored as a sophomore, one year removed from being named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team.

The news comes just days after David Quinn, BU’s head coach, expressed supreme confidence that the Swede would return for his junior season. However, as reported by The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont, the Bruins met with “JFK” on Friday and must have convinced him the pro route was in the cards.

Mindful of that, he’ll likely try and displace Ryan Spooner or Riley Nash as Boston’s third or fourth line center, respectively. The move also represents quite the vote of confidence, as “JFK,” often likened to Patrice Bergeron, joins amidst a playoff push.

Per a release by the Bruins, “JFK” signed a three-year entry-level contract effective immediately.

Coach Quinn talks the 2016-17 season, future

PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

On Wednesday afternoon at Agganis Arena, The Daily Free Press and WTBU Sports sat down with head coach David Quinn for about half an hour.

In a far-reaching interview that covered everything from high and low moments of the 2016-17 season to thoughts on roster construction moving forward, Quinn did not hold back. In fact, this 30-minute conversation was the most honest and candid I remember Quinn ever being about BU hockey.

First off, we have two stories on the FreeP. The first looks back at the year that was, while the second talks about the future. I strongly encourage you, Terrier hockey fans, to check them both out and then share your thoughts below.

Also, we have a flurry of tweets with in-depth quotes from Quinn. In other words, a lot to digest.

Charlie McAvoy signs ATO with Providence Bruins, turns pro

Sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy. PHOTO BY JUSTIN HAWK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The Charlie McAvoy era is over for the Boston University men’s hockey team.

The 19-year-old defenseman has signed an amateur tryout (ATO) contract with the Providence Bruins, the AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins. Across his Terrier career, Charlie McAvoy earned a Hockey East First-Team nod after his sophomore season and recorded 51 points in 75 games.

Perhaps McAvoy’s biggest moment, though, was winning a gold medal with Team USA at the 2017 World Junior Championships. He was an assistant captain for the red, white and blue, starring in the title game against Team Canada.

Upon signing, McAvoy becomes the second Terrier to pro early following the 2016-17 season. Forward Clayton Keller signed on Sunday with the Arizona Coyotes, making his debut one day later against the St. Louis Blues.

In connection with the Bruins, early reports indicate that sophomore forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Boston’s second-round pick in 2015, is undecided on whether to turn pro or not.

Lastly, McAvoy was Boston’s first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, always placing him on a fast track to the big show.

Clayton Keller signs with Arizona Coyotes, leaves BU program

keller_maddiemalhotra_online-1-of-1-1600x1109Speculation has become reality.

Clayton Keller, Boston University’s star freshman forward, has made his NHL dreams come true. On Sunday morning, the seventh overall pick of the 2016 Entry Draft signed with the Arizona Coyotes, marking BU’s first early departure of the offseason.

The 18-year-old penned a three-year, entry-level deal and will play on Monday night against the St. Louis Blues.

With the move, Keller closes the book on a scarlet-and-white career that included a Hockey East Rookie of the Year award, 45 total points, a 15-game point streak and a gold medal with Team USA at the World Junior Championships.

Suffice it say that head coach David Quinn won’t easily replace Keller. We’ll keep you update as more Terriers head to the NHL early, as Charlie McAvoy, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Jordan Greenway are all strong candidates.

https://twitter.com/jake_oettinger/status/846060875404509184

https://twitter.com/chadkrys/status/846069698764689410

 

Live Blog: BU vs. North Dakota in the NCAA Tournament’s West Regional

Live Blog BU vs. North Dakota – NCAA Tournament
 

BU adopts “us against the world” mentality ahead of North Dakota, NCAA Tournament

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BU is playing in its third straight NCAA Tournament. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Doyle Somerby has heard the message loud and clear: He and his teammates are underdogs on Friday.

The senior defenseman and captain of the No. 6 Boston University men’s hockey team doesn’t like it one bit.

“In our locker room we’ve seen a lot of people picking North Dakota,” Somerby said of Friday’s West Regional semifinal against the No. 10 Fighting Hawks at Scheels Arena in Fargo, North Dakota. “A lot of people don’t really give us the respect that we should get. Going out there, it’ll be pretty interesting and really loud. I think we’re just using that to fuel ourselves.”

Kindling the flames even further will be 5,000-plus North Dakota (21-15-3) fans, all hoping for the program’s ninth national title. The Terriers (23-11-3), however, aren’t letting the noise — Fargo is 80 miles south of North Dakota’s campus in Grand Forks — muddy their hopes for the sixth national title.

“If you’re an elite athlete and you’re an elite hockey player, this is a game you want to play in,” said BU head coach David Quinn. “ … If I’m a player, I think it’d be pretty cool to go play North Dakota in Fargo in front of a packed house with that type of atmosphere. That’s why you come to places like BU — to play in games like this.”

While the noise is guaranteed to be stifling, fans in Fargo and those watching on ESPN2 will be treated to 21 NHL draft picks — 11 from BU and 10 from the Fighting Hawks.

The player to watch from BU, the youngest team in college hockey, is freshman forward Clayton Keller. The Hockey East Rookie of the Year — also an Arizona Coyotes first-rounder — has 42 points on the year and is seventh in the nation with 1.45 points per game.

Freshman forward Tyson Jost is North Dakota's go-to man on offense. Photo courtesy of: Conor Knuteson/UND Athletics
Freshman forward Tyson Jost is North Dakota’s go-to man on offense. Photo courtesy of: Conor Knuteson/UND Athletics

He’ll be aided by other stars ranging from sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy (Boston Bruins) to freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger (a likely first-rounder in 2017) to freshman forward Patrick Harper (Nashville Predators) and more. The key for BU, though, Quinn said, will be turning all its talent into a 60-minute performance.

“Right now we’re playing pretty good hockey,” Quinn said. “The last few weekends I think we’ve played well. A couple of times we haven’t gotten the results we wanted, but we’ve played a much smarter brand of hockey.”

Quinn was referring to BU’s slow starts, as the scarlet and white have allowed the first goal in each of their last nine games.

Sophomore forward Jordan Greenway, however, doesn’t feel that’ll be a problem, especially with a Frozen Four berth on the line.

“This weekend we obviously need to win,” Greenway said. “If you lose you’re done, so we’re really desperate. We want to make it to Chicago and move on forward.”

Obstructing that path will be head coach Brad Berry’s squad, one that allows the nation’s second-fewest shots per game (24.7) and can score in bunches (3.18 goals per game).

Leading their charge up top will be Brock Boeser, Tyson Jost and Shane Gersich, all of whom have surpassed the 30-point mark. Then on defense, keep an eye out for Tucker Poolman (30 points) and Gage Ausmus, as well as goaltender Cam Johnson, a finalist for the Mike Richter Award in 2016.

For junior defenseman Brandon Hickey, the myriad of challenges NoDak poses are all welcomed with open arms.

“As an athlete, you want to go into hostile buildings and be able to go there and say you beat a team on their home ice,” Hickey said. “It’s basically a home game for them being so close to where they play. It’s nothing but excitement out of me. I’m ready to go in there and play in front of a loud crowd and a packed house.”

Freshman forward Clayton Keller was recently named Hockey East Rookie of the Year. PHOTO MY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Freshman forward Clayton Keller was recently named Hockey East Rookie of the Year. PHOTO MY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Whichever way Friday’s game is spliced, the fact remains: the winner will advance to Saturday’s West Regional final, also held at Scheels Arena. They’ll take on whoever emerges from the other semifinal between No. 3 University of Minnesota Duluth and No. 14 Ohio State University.

Before then, Somerby said BU has adopted an “us against the world” mentality, and Quinn harped on several coaching points when previewing the encounter.

He highlighted winning puck battles, creating havoc in front of Johnson and making mature decisions with the puck.

And, if all goes to plan, BU will return to Boston with a Frozen Four to prepare for, instead of the end of the 2016-17 season.

“We want to go in there and make sure that we’re going to do whatever it takes to extend the season,” Hickey said. “We don’t it to be our last weekend as a team.”

BU hockey travels to Fargo for NCAA Tournament

The Terriers are heading to Fargo, North Dakota.

Slated against the University of North Dakota, the Boston University men’s hockey team is a part of the NCAA Tournament’s West Regional. The two sides, which met in the 2015 Frozen Four, will clash on Friday night at Scheels Arena in Fargo.

UPDATE: Click here for our story over on The Daily Free Press. Upon first glance, BU isn’t all too worried about the hostile crowd out in Fargo.

What’s your reaction to BU’s destination and matchup? Feel free to share below!

 

 

Live Blog: BU plays BC in Hockey East semis

The Hockey East semifinals are here at long last, with an extra does of rivalry.

Starting at 8 p.m., the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team will do battle with No. 14 Boston College, all with a berth in Saturday’s title game on the line. The game, held at TD Garden, will be broadcast on NESN and ESPN3.

BU has beaten BC three times already this season, and an Eagle loss practically guarantees their NCAA Tournament dreams are squashed. As for BU, there’s all to play for ahead of what’s a guaranteed spot in the NCAA Tournament.

We’ll be live all night at the Garden, so follow along below!

Live Blog BU vs. BC – Hockey East semifinals
 

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Keller, others from BU hockey earn Hockey East awards

keller_maddiemalhotra_online-1-of-1-1600x1109On Thursday night at the Royal Sonesta hotel in Cambridge, Hockey East held its annual year-end banquet.

The event, which was hosted by emcee Dan Roche, included awards for the 2016-17 season, and several BU players earned plaudits.

Namely, Clayton Keller was named Hockey East’s Rookie of the Year, marking the ninth time a Terrier earned the distinction. Keller, also the recipient of an Army ROTC “Three Stars” Award, earned a spot on the Pro Ambitions All-Rookie Team alongside goaltender Jake Oettinger and forward Patrick Harper.

Keller’s night continued to get better, as he and Oettinger were also named Second Team All-Stars. Sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy, meanwhile, was named a First Team All-Star.