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.
The United States, Canada and Finland 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship preliminary rosters were announced earlier this week.
Five players from the Boston University men’s hockey team – some returning and some new – saw their names on the rosters among many other young hockey players who hope to represent their home countries in Buffalo, New York from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
Last year, Team USA won its fourth title after beating Team Canada 5-4 in a shootout.
Below are the five Terriers that were named to their respective countries’ WJC preliminary rosters. Team USA invited 28 players and will narrow the group down to 23 while Team Canada invited 32 players and will narrow it down to a 22-man roster.
Sophomore forward Patrick Harper – Team USA
Harper notched one goal for Team USA last year and currently leads BU with 19 points (6g, 13a). Last Friday, Harper assisted four of the Terriers’ goals in the team’s 7-4 win over then-No. 15 Boston College.
Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro – Team Canada
Fabbro took home a silver medal with Team Canada last year and was one of two collegiate players on the squad. The New Westminster, British Columbia native currently has 11 points (4g, 7a) and leads BU in blocked shots with 38.
Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger – Team USA
While Tyler Parsons and BC sophomore goaltender Joseph Woll played in the net during last year’s championships, Oettinger came home with a gold medal. This year, Woll and Maine’s freshman goaltender Jeremy Swayman were also named to the preliminary roster.
The Lakeville, Minnesota native currently sits on a .905 goal save percentage and 2.89 goals against average over 15 games.
“It’s awesome and I’ve been lucky enough to do it a couple of times and it never gets old. [There’s] a really good group of guys invited to that camp so really excited to reconnect with those guys and start trying to defend our gold medal from last year, but that’s all going to come after what should be a strong end of the season here at BU.” – Oettinger after practice on Thursday.
Freshman defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo – Team Finland
The Finnish defenseman has represented Team Finland on many occasions including winning a gold medal in the IIHF World Under-18 World Championship. Kotkansalo currently leads BU’s freshman defensemen in blocked shots with 23, and has one goal and three assists on the season.
Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk – Team USA
Tkachuk won gold with Team USA in the 2017 U18 World Championship and collected seven points (1g, 6a) on top of serving as captain. The St. Louis, Missouri native is currently fifth highest on the team in points with 12 (2g, 10a) and leads in plus minus rating of +9.
The Missing One?
Sophomore defenseman Chad Krys – Team USA
Krys was named to USA’s preliminary roster last year, but didn’t make the final cut. Last season, the defenseman finished a solid season with 11 points (5g, 6a) after being linemates with current Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy. Krys has surpassed that with 14 points (4g, 10a) over 17 games this season.
“Yeah, obviously you feel like it’s one of your children so you’re always hopeful and you always think very highly of him. It’s disappointing for Chad, but the one thing I know that he and I’ve talked about is you just move past it and he gets to spend Christmas at home and get some time off. There’s always a silver lining to everything.” – BU head coach David Quinn after practice on Thursday.
What are your thoughts on the BU players chosen for the WJC preliminary rosters?
With two games of Group B play wrapped up, representatives of the Boston University men’s hockey team have continued to shine at the 2017 World Junior Championships.
On Tuesday night, freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro helped Canada to a 5-0 win over Slovakia. He didn’t register a goal or assist, but was a steadying presence along the blueline during 18:07 of time on ice, the second highest total for the Canadians.
The Americans, fresh off a convincing win over Latvia, then played the same Slovakian side on Wednesday evening, beating them 5-2. And, as was the case against the Latvians, Terriers stole the show at time, chipping in on three of the red, white and blue’s five goals.
Freshman forward Clayton Keller turned generous on USA’s second tally, flipping a saucer pass to Colin White, a Boston College forward, for a backdoor finish. Then, to make it a 3-1 game, freshman forward Kieffer Bellows found Tage Thompson of UConn on the doorstep, who deposited with grace atop the crease.
The grandest moment of the game, from a BU perspective, came midway through the second period when sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy fired a howitzer of a one-timer. McAvoy, who is serving as an assistant captain for the Americans, beat netminder Matej Tomek, normally of North Dakota.
Skating as USA’s 13th forward, Patrick Harper registered two shots in 10:06 of ice time, the side’s lowest total. Meanwhile, freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger was the sole healthy scratch, with Joseph Woll of Boston College receiving the start between the pipes. Lastly, sophomore forward Jordan Greenway was stymied on his three shots on goal.
Looking ahead, Fabbro and the Canadians next take on Latvia at 8 p.m. on Thursday. On the same day, the Americans will look to beat Russia when it faces the nation at 3:30 p.m.
Sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik will leave Boston University before the second semester begins, according to Jeff Cox of SB Nation.
Prawdzik, who has never appeared in a regular season game for the Terriers, is expected to play for the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League. There is a possibility he could return to BU at the start of next season.
The Andover native excelled at Brooks School, where he was named ISL Hockey League Most Valuable Player in 2015. He led Brooks School to a 2015 New England Prep Large School Championship.
Prawdzik’s departure for the NAHL means that BU head coach David Quinn and staff may have to add an emergency goaltender before their Jan. 5 game versus Union College. With freshman netminder Jake Oettinger at the World Junior Championship, junior Connor LaCouvee could be the only available goaltender if Team USA reaches the Bronze Medal game. LaCouvee has allowed four goals and made 60 saves in two starts.
Great hype and anticipation has manifested about the imprint the Boston University men’s hockey team could leave on the 2017 World Junior Championships, and its contingent certainly did not disappoint in Monday’s opening clashes.
Team Canada, which boasts freshman Dante Fabbro along the blueline, swept aside Team Russia, 5-3. The Nashville Predators first rounder in the 2016 NHL Draft did not register a point, but largely held his own against a heavy-skating Russian side.
While the Canadians impressed inside the friendly confines of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, the same building treated Team USA well. More specifically, its members of the Terriers stole the show, accounting for two thirds of the scoring in a 6-1 win over Team Latvia.
Skating as the 13th forward, freshman Patrick Harper opened up the proceedings with a quick wrister in the first period that flew past Mareks Mitens, the Latvian netminder. With just 75 ticks remaining in the second frame, freshman Clayton Keller gave the Americans a 3-1 advantage, potting a loose puck in front of goal.
Keller didn’t stopped there, though, as he made it a 4-1 game for Team USA when he flung a wrist shot past Mitens midway through the third period. Cushioning the red, white and blue’s lead even further, sophomore Jordan Greenway cleaned up a rebound with 40 seconds remaining to seal the 6-1 scoreline.
As for BU’s other players on Team USA, freshman forward Kieffer Bellows skated on the fourth line alongside Tanner Laczynski of Ohio State and Joey Anderson of Minnesota Duluth. Next, sophomore Charlie McAvoy, who is serving as an assistant captain, anchored the defensive unit. Lastly, Jake Oettinger, one of the three American goalies, was the team’s sole scratch.
The Terrier faithful hardly have to wait to see their young stars in action yet again, as Team Canada takes on Team Slovakia on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Meanwhile, Team USA’s next faces off on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., also against the Slovaks. Both games will be streamed on the NHL Network.
The 2017 World Junior Championships will feature talent aplenty of the Boston University variety.
Seven members of the Terriers’ men’s hockey team will play in late December and early January’s collection of the world’s best junior hockey talent, which will take place in Montreal and Toronto. Team Canada will feature freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro, while Team USA boasts freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger, sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy, sophomore forward Jordan Greenway and freshmen forwards Patrick Harper, Kieffer Bellows and Clayton Keller.
Freshman defenseman Chad Krys, who played in 2016’s World Junior tournament, was the last cut for Team USA. McAvoy also made last year’s competition, which was held in Finland, and will serve as an alternate captain for the 2017 group.
These seven members of head coach David Quinn’s squad have long featured for their respective national teams, with Keller arguably being the most notable. The former member of the U.S. National Team Development Program broke the career record for points with 189 on 71 goals and 118 assists. In a similar vein, Bellows’ 50 goals led the U.S. National Under-18 Team in 2015-16.
Oettinger, in also playing for the NTDP last year, posted a 2.38 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. As for the sophomore contingent, McAvoy and Greenway both claimed a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Harper has the least national team experience, as he had a brief stint with the U.S. National Under-17 Team in 2014-15. Lastly, Fabbro starred for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship.
All that talent will first be on display when the tournament opens on Dec. 26. It will wrap up on Jan. 5 with medal games.
Here is Team USA’s schedule for the tournament’s group stage:
Dec. 26 vs. Latvia; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
Dec. 28 vs. Slovakia; 7:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
Dec. 29 vs. Russia; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
Dec. 31 vs. Canada; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
Here is Team Canada’s schedule for the tournament’s group stage:
Dec. 26 vs. Russia; 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
Dec. 28 vs. Latvia; 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
Dec. 29 vs. Slovakia; 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
Dec. 31 vs. USA; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
A whopping eight members of the Boston University men’s hockey team recently made preliminary rosters for the 2017 World Juniors Championship in Canada.
Two in particular, however, seem like sure bets to showcase their talents on the world’s biggest youth hockey stage come late December and early January. Freshman forward Clayton Keller and sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy, two staples of U.S. Hockey’s youth setups, touched based with us after BU’s 5-2 win over Yale on Dec. 13.
The duo can’t wait to soak in the experience and represent their country. For full thoughts from McAvoy, Keller and head coach David Quinn, check out Jonathan’s story.
It’s also worth taking a gander at this quote from Keller about his first semester as a Terrier.
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.
A couple of Boston University men’s hockey players will be turning in their scarlet and red for red, white and blue later this month, as sophomore forward Danny O’Regan and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk were named to the 26-man preliminary roster for the 2014 United States National Junior Team Wednesday.
O’Regan and Grzelcyk will participate in training camp from Dec. 15 through Dec. 18 at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena and are looking to remain on the final 23 players going to the tournament in Malmo, Sweden from Dec. 26, 2013 through Jan. 5, 2014. For more on the U.S. team, check out Chris Peters’ United States of Hockey blog.
BU coach David Quinn, who helped the U.S. to a bronze medal in the 1986 World Junior Championship, said he was excited for O’Regan and Grzelcyk to play in the tournament.
“Every time a guy goes and plays in the World Junior tournament and comes back, they’re better players,” Quinn said. “It happened to me, it happened to me when I was here. It happens to those guys when they go and they become better players. Playing on that stage against the competition, you just come back with a whole new level of self-confidence and it really helps you.”
Grzelcyk, who was the final cut from the 2013 U.S. team that won the gold medal in Ufa, Russia, said last year’s experience has helped his mindset entering this year’s camp. The Charlestown native has one goal and six assists through 14 games this season with BU.
“I think just being at the tournament and even just seeing it from a bird’s eye view and just getting a feel for the atmosphere at the tournament and stuff like that gives you a little more confident going into camp,” Grzelcyk said.
“I think just [the 2013 U.S.] team was obviously really great, they won the gold. I don’t really hold much of a grudge at all. Obviously they made the right decision.”
O’Regan, who led the Terriers in scoring last season and is tied for the team lead in goals this season with five, was not among those invited to training camp last season. However, he had played with the U.S. U-18 team in 2011-12, and totaled 10 points in 14 games with the squad.
“Just seeing my name on the list was truly an honor,” O’Regan said. “Everyone is a great player, so yeah I’m just really excited to be on the list and to be going to the camp in Minnesota.”
BU recruit Jack Eichel was also named to the preliminary roster. Eichel is the youngest player on the roster, as he was born Oct. 28, 1996. However, he has some high expectations for the tournament based on his play with the U.S. National U-18 team this season, as he has totaled 17 goals and 35 points in 19 games for the team.
Grzelcyk said he has played with Eichel, who is from North Chelmsford, in a couple of tournaments and a Wednesday night league.
“He’s a really good kid and obviously he’s really talented to be the youngest guy there,” Grzelcyk said. “So it’s a true honor for him.”
Boston University men’s hockey freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was in Ufa, Russia Thursday with the U.S. National Junior Team, hoping for his shot to play for a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships.
However, after Team USA’s 8–0 win over Team Germany Thursday, the squad decided to name Windsor Spitfires blueliner Patrick Sieloff the team’s seventh defenseman Friday morning and send Grzelcyk home as the final player cut from the team.
In reaction to being cut from the team, Grzelcyk tweeted, “Lots of emotions today, but I have to be thankful for the opportunity. Good luck to Team USA the boys deserve it!”
The decision took an unusually long time, as Team USA had already played a game in the tournament without making its final decision for the 23rd player on its roster. The drawn-out process bothered BU coach Jack Parker, who now does not have Grzelcyk available to play in Saturday’s game between the No. 6 Terriers and the No. 14 University of Denver.
“I think it is really taking advantage of the kid and the schools those guys play for,” Parker said in a phone interview Thursday. “If they had cut him before they left Helsinki, he would have been home in time to play for us.”
Parker highlighted the extensive travel Grzelcyk had to do as one of the reasons for his disappointment in the decision-making process. Ufa is a two-hour flight away from Moscow, Russia, and a flight from Moscow to New York takes over 10 hours. There are no direct flights from Moscow to Boston or Denver.
“It is awful hard to get home, especially if he has to travel by himself,” Parker said. “That will be brutal. I think they have done him and us a disservice.
“They should have made that decision before they left Helsinki.”