The Boston University men’s hockey team announced its incoming players for the 2017-18 season earlier today. Among the seven incoming forwards and three defenseman that make up the Terriers’ 27-man roster, five members of the freshman class were selected in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
In addition to the nine-member freshman class, the Terriers have added graduate transfer Drew Melanson who spent his last three years with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Before playing in the NCAA, Melanson played in the USHL for three years and notched 73 points (30g, 43a) over 120 games, according to Elite Prospects.
“One thing I really love about this class is the balance,” Quinn said in a GoTerriers.com press release today. “We’ve got maturity, we’ve got skill, we’ve got physicality, and to top it all off, I really love the character of all these guys. They have a great work ethic and they are definitely going [to] make BU better both on and off the ice.”
Senior defenseman Brandon Hickey will lead the incoming players and rest of the Terriers this season as captain alongside senior forwards Bobo Carpenter and Nik Olsson, and junior forward Jordan Greenway who will serve as assistant captains.
Below is a full list of the incoming players to look for on the ice during the upcoming season:
Ty Amonte (forward) – Penticton Vees, BCHL
Shane Bowers (forward) – Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL
Logan Cokerill (forward) – U.S. National Under-18 Team
It was another exciting and successful year at the NHL Entry Draft for Boston University men’s hockey fans and more importantly, the players being drafted.
One goaltender, two forwards, and four defenseman were all called during the two days at United Center in Chicago. While defenseman Ryan O’Connell is a 2018 recruit, the other six players will take the ice during the upcoming season.
Here’s a FreeP recap of the draft written by Liam to see how your Terriers fared throughout the weekend and below are some videos and Twitter updates.
Have no fear Boston University men’s hockey fans, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft is almost here and many BU recruits as well as rising sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger are expected to hear their names called by league commissioner Gary Bettman.
The first round of the draft will start tomorrow at 7 p.m. EST and the second through seven rounds will begin at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday. We will keep you updated throughout the draft via Twitter and post a draft recap for those of you who can’t tune in.
While there is still one more day before Oettinger and other future Terriers will learn their NHL fate at the United Center in Chicago, we have compiled a preview full of highlights, facts and projections to get you all ready and excited for this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
The 6-foot-4 netminder took Hockey East by storm his freshman season. His production is expected to translate into a favorable spot in the first round of the draft, with potential fits being the Chicago Blackhawks, who own the 26th selection, or the Dallas Stars with the 29th pick.
The Minnesota native ranked among the leaders in the NCAA with an impressive stat line, which included a .927 save percentage and 2.11 goals against average while leading the Terriers to a 21-11-3 record when he stood between goal.
“Oettinger is the prototypical combination of size, position and athleticism that NHL teams are looking for in a starting goalie, and should be selected very high in this year’s NHL Draft. It’s rare to see goalies be selected in the first round of the Draft these days, but Oettinger’s measurable, combined with him showing he can play at the college level make him as safe a bet as a team could make in a future goalie.” – Chris Dilks, SB Nation College Hockey
Projection: Late first round
The New Terriers
The moment the 18-year-old center announced his commitment to BU in November, the excitement surrounding him has not diminished. This comes as no surprise as the Canadian-born player had a stellar season with the Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL). He finished 10th in the league after totaling 51 points (22g, 29a) in 60 games, including two goals and one assist in the postseason. Bowers has also represented his home country in numerous tournaments and was most recently a member of Canada’s Under-18 Team.
“Waterloo’s Shane Bowers is a workhorse and is very effective around the net. He reads plays well and is very effective on rebounds, often positioned at the right position in front of the net to finish off plays. Possesses great speed with the puck and can escape defenders with 2-3 extra quick strides. Very smart decision maker.” – Dennis Schellenber, Hockey Prospectus
Projection: Late first round
While this BU recruit may slide under the radar, some reports project Crotty to be selected as high as the late second round. The Ontario native picked up 31 points (7g, 24a) in his two years with the Brockville Braves (CCHL), but is known as a two-way defensemen and was named the CCHL Top Prospect for the 2016-17 season. The 18-year-old may need some time to grow and adjust to college hockey, but he has the potential to develop into a strong blueliner.
“This is why I see Crotty as such an interesting sleeper pick: he may not make a big splash in college as a freshman, but he brings an intriguing skill set that will emerge over time and could be very valuable.” – Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News
Projection: Late second round or early third round
The defenseman been credited with containing a brilliant offensive acumen and should expect to hear his name called in the middle rounds of the draft. Armed with a stellar shot and commendable passing skills at the blue line, Farrance racked up seven goals and 30 assists with the USA National U-18 Team in 2016-17. He also starred in the U-18 World Championship, scoring a pair of goals to accompany an assist over a seven-game stretch.
“Under six foot defender who is a mobile defenseman with terrific offensive skills and high end passing skills. Displays excellent vision and has the ability to the throw the home run stretch pass to a teammate with accuracy. Very good on the power play at moving the puck to the right option. Quick and precise in retrieval in his end, and a power play generator who reads his passing options but also has a rocket from the point.” – Bill Placzek, Draft Site
Projection: Mid-to-late third round
The defenseman may not find an NHL team until later in the draft, but he will likely provide a physical presence for BU on the blue line. The Finland native most recently played for the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) and tallied 12 points. However, Kotkansalo snagged six points in 13 games during the Finland Under-20 Tournament.
“A two-way reliable defender with some offensive upside. … He handles and controls the puck well, displays high-end vision and his first pass is on target. He moves the puck efficiently and quickly in his passing game and finds his target under pressure…He’s just a reliable two-way guy who could develop into a strong offensive contributor at the next level.” – Future Considerations
Boston University commit, Shane Bowers, has aced his midterm.
When NHL Central Scouting released its midterm rankings of players eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, it ranked the Halifax-born center as the 13th-best amongst North American skaters.
Bowers has played in all 33 games for the United States Hockey League’s Waterloo Blackhawks. His 10 goals and 24 points are good for second best on his team and puts him on track to beat last year’s numbers. Only 17, Bowers could be another offensive powerhouse on the Terrier roster.
He may have been the only projected newcomer to make the midterm rankings, but of all the likely freshmen for 2017-18, he isn’t the only one having a notable season.
Henry (Hank) Crone may only be 5-foot-8, but he packs a punch. The Texas native could be compared to the notoriously short and spunky Boston Bruin, Brad Marchand. Like Marchand, Crone spends a decent amount of time in the box, but that doesn’t prevent him from being productive. The winger has accumulated 31 points in 29 games with the Fargo Force, seventh-best among all USHL players.
David Farrance and Brady Tkachuk have been logging minutes on the U.S. National Under-18 Team.
At 5-foot-11, Farrance will likely never be the biggest man on the ice, but he’s been a strong presence on the blue line. As a defender, it’s no surprise he’s only netted five goals, but he also has 15 assists under his belt. The New York native has played in all 37 games and contributes to a penalty kill with an 85.1 percent success rate.
Tkachuk has family roots aplenty in the NHL. He could follow suit, as he’s eligible for the 2018 draft and putting up impressive numbers. He averages almost three shots on goal a game, and has the second most points among his teammates with 28. Tkachuk has consistently netted 15 or more goals in the previous three seasons, and between his 11 goals with the Under-18 team and five goals with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, he’s already accomplished that.
Four members of the current freshman class – goaltender Jake Oettinger, forwards Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows and defenseman Chad Krys – all carried their success on the Under-18 team to Terrier ice. Farrance and Tkachuk will likely do the same.
In his rookie season in the British Columbia Hockey League, forward Ty Amonte has played in all 41 games for the Penticton Vees. Earlier in the season, he boasted a nine-game point streak. While the Norwell native has only scored one point in the past nine games, he’s still a top producer for the team. He’s recorded 12 goals and 17 assists.
Finnish skater Kasper Kotkansalo has missed six games due to injury during his season with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL, but has impressed nonetheless. The 6-foot-2 defenseman is expected to go in the middle rounds of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Cameron Crotty is also a notable prospect for the 2017 Draft, according to eliteprospects.com. The defenseman from Ontario has contributed eight points, including a game-winning goal, to the Brockville Braves of the Central Canadian Hockey League. He’s only played in 25 games this season, but his 0.32 points per game average from last season has persisted.
The current Terrier freshmen class has drawn national attention thanks to its stunning abilities and maturity. The amount of talent in the 2016-17 group will be hard to top, but the new wave of players projected to arrive on campus next fall will undoubtedly bring promise of continued success for the team.
~ This article originally appeared in The Daily Free Press and was written by Shelby Reardon. ~
It feels like yesterday that the Boston University men’s hockey team got its 2016-17 season underway, but the halfway point is here. As things stand, BU is 10-5-2, sits fourth in the Pairwise rankings and sixth in the Hockey East standings.
Of course, the state of the Terriers is not that simple, so we’re here to break down some of the subtler nuances and trends that developed in the fall of 2016. It’s also important to note context, as BU entered the year with great hype and expectations, largely the byproduct of rostering 11 NHL Draft picks. The jury is still out on whether all that talent will translate into silverware of some kind.
Before we get underway, it’s important to give these two quotes from disparate parts of the semester a read through. The first came on Sept. 27 at Hockey East’s annual media day, and is from junior assistant captain Nikolas Olsson. Meanwhile, the second is from head coach David Quinn and came after BU’s 5-2 win over Yale on Dec. 13.
Quote 1: “We want to hold ourselves to our own standard, so we don’t want to pay attention to what everyone else expects us to do. We tune everything out and when we’re all in the locker room, we have a saying of, ‘Close that up and everything that’s in here matters – this is what matters, whatever is outside doesn’t.’ If we can figure out our affairs in here, then we can do great things.” – Olsson
Quote 2: “It’s been a really good first half for us. We feel our best hockey is ahead of us. It’s a great group. I love coming to the rink every day with them. They work hard, they care for each other, they’re forming some of those characteristics you need to have as a group to win important games in late March and April. We feel really good about where we’re at.” – Quinn
Patrick Harper – Who would have thought that freshman Patrick Harper would lead the team in points by the end of 2016? Heading into this season, the hype centered around Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows, but it’s been the 5-foot-9, 160-pound playmaker from New Canaan, Connecticut who has led the way early on. With seven goals and 13 assists, Harper ranks fifth in scoring among Division I freshmen. He will head into the next half of the season with a three-game point streak, and it’s safe to assume that the Nashville Predators draft pick will look to extend that run of form on the first line. – Nick
Kieffer Bellows – Yes, Kieffer Bellows has disappointed in his freshman campaign, but there’s a very good chance he turns it around. Just look at sophomore Jordan Greenway, who totaled one goal and seven assists in the first half of the 2015-16 season. After the holiday break, Greenway scored four goals and notched 14 helpers to finish the season top-5 on the team in points (26). Of course, Greenway didn’t have a plus/minus rating of -8 halfway through his freshman year, but you get the point. Sometimes, freshmen need some extra time to adjust before they flourish, and that very well could be the case with Bellows. His penalty problem can be easily fixed, and he’s flashed his trademark scoring ability at points. Let’s hope playing with Team USA in the World Junior Championships will energize Bellows so he can begin the 2017 on a high note. – Nick
Third line – Oft-overlooked, especially on a team with five forwards drafted by NHL teams, BU’s third line deserves ample credit for wins against powerhouse and mid-level teams alike. The contingent typically features senior Nick Roberto and junior Nikolas Olsson as wingers, with freshman Patrick Curry at center. They all have subtly good hands, play heavy on the forecheck and consistently skate with the pace and intensity Quinn so ardently desires. They’re chipping in on the scoreboard, too, as they’ve combined for 19 points from eight goals and 11 assists. What’s perhaps most significant about the third line, though, is that it affords BU’s top two lines the chance to catch a breather, all the while maintaining the level those elite forwards (Keller, Greenway, etc.) demand. Lastly, any team looking to make a deep postseason run with only two lines is in deep trouble. Luckily for Quinn, this Roberto-Olsson-Curry group won’t cause that worry to arise. – Jonathan
JFK – It’s natural to watch BU’s top-end players and make NHL comparisons. When it comes to Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, a sophomore and assistant captain, one of the highest honor surfaces: Patrice Bergeron. Both are centers, both were picked 45th overall by the Boston Bruins in their respective drafts and both offer forth the same skill set. Bergeron, now a two-time participant in the NHL All-Star Game, has smooth hands, makes smart hockey plays like clockwork and has won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times, which is annually given to the NHL’s top defensive forward. As for Forsbacka Karlsson, the scorer of 45 points in 56 career games for the Terriers, he’s an expert at using his body to protect the puck, plays a 200-foot game in every sense of the phrase and does so many of the little things right. Who knows if “JFK” will ever reach Bergeron’s notoriety or respect throughout the professional ranks, but it’s still a joy to watch the 20-year-old Swede lead BU night in and night out. And for those who feel JFK isn’t chipping in on the scoreboard, he boasts three goals and 12 assists. That puts him a tie with Keller for the third-most points on the Terriers. – Jonathan
Sixth Man – There’s really not much to complain about in this department, as BU ranks fourth in the nation in goals allowed (2.06). The core four of Charlie McAvoy, Chad Krys, Dante Fabbro and Brandon Hickey have been excellent, but perhaps the most important piece of the defense has been the sixth man, usually paired with captain Doyle Somerby. For the most part, that has been John MacLeod, who has four assists in 13 games but has also been dealing with injuries. When he’s unavailable, Brien Diffley and Shane Switzer stepped into his spot on the blue line, making smart choices with the puck and seamlessly slotting into the defensive zone. Expect the D-unit to continue to shut down top offenses in 2017. – Nick
LaCouvee –Jake Oettinger has been terrific in net, but a shoutout has to go to his backup, Connor LaCouvee. He’s only started twice, but knowing that there’s a solid netminder behind Oettinger is comforting for Terrier fans. He earned victories in both of his starts, and has a save percentage of .938. Sure, a small sample size, but so what? He’s been awesome in limited play. Should the 18-year-old Oettinger fall in a slump or require some rest, LaCouvee can slide right into the starting lineup and keep the Terriers in it. – Nick
Oettinger – Speaking of Oettinger, it’s hard to ask for more from the freshman. It’s commonplace in postgame press conferences for his teammates to shower the recently-turned 18-year-old with praise, and that’s because he deserves every plaudit thrown his way. In his young career, the former U.S. National Team Development goaltender has three shutouts, blanking Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart and Vermont. He also boasts a .932 save percentage and 1.87 goals against average, which both lead Hockey East. In terms of a grander scope, the former statistic stacks up as the eighth best in the country, while the latter is fifth best in the nation. To the credit of critics in and around Agganis Arena, Oettinger did have an incredibly rough outing at home – BU’s 4-0 loss to UConn on Nov. 11 – but he has since bounced back with aplomb. Looking ahead, the Lakeville, Minnesota native seems stout enough to lead the Terriers when playoff hockey rolls around, as he instills confidence in the squad and can stymie the nation’s best forwards. Do you know what’s scariest of all? This kid is so young he isn’t even draft eligible until the summer. – Jonathan
Fourth line – While BU’s defense has largely been resolute, one area in need of marked improvement arises through the fourth line. Whether it’s freshmen Johnny McDermott and Gabriel Chabot, sophomores Ryan Cloonan and Oskar Andren, junior Chase Phelps or senior Tommy Kelley, a worrisome theme has surfaced against tougher opponents: an inability to break out of the defensive zone on a consistent basis. This note is based on the eye test and isn’t easily measurable, but too often has some combination of the aforementioned group been hemmed below its own blue line. There are several reasons for this trend – being mismatched against an opponent’s top line, a changing cast of characters and general fatigue late in games – but it needs a firm resolution. On the other hand, when this is the biggest complaint about the Terriers’ defense, they’re in pretty good shape. – Jonathan
Net value – Special teams have been the strongest part of the Terriers’ game in 2016. They have scored on 16.87 percent of their power plays, while going 91.2 percent on the penalty kill, second best in the nation. What’s the most impressive stat from special teams? The Terriers have allowed nine goals on the penalty kill, yet they have scored six shorthanded goals this year. That makes them a fantastic -3 on the PK, which is even more impressive when you consider the number of penalties this team has been whistled for. Stick taps to all involved. – Nick
Freshmen –So who have the stars of the power play been thus far? You may want to sit down for this … it’s been the freshmen. Harper, Keller and Fabbro have three power play goals each, which lead the team. In fact, the only other Terrier with multiple power play goals is … Bellows. It’s obvious that these guys are well-coached when it comes to the PP, so another shoutout to the coaching staff for a job well done. – Nick
QB1, QB2, QB3 – In his weekly sit-down with the media, Quinn routinely talks about the importance of learning what a professional-level power play looks like. From BU’s first 17 games of the year, it appears as though Keller, Fabbro and McAvoy have firmly grasped every coaching point. The trio often operates from the point, quarterbacking the Terriers’ man advantages and always seems willing to pull the trigger. There’s proof in the pudding, too, as Keller and Fabbro both have three tallies on the power play. McAvoy hasn’t registered a point on the power play, but his contributions surface in other ways. – Jonathan
The magic number –During October and November, as was the case throughout college hockey, penalties dominated the conversation. Truthfully, BU has been one of the worst culprits in this regard, as its 16.24 penalty minutes per game is the 15th-highest total in the NCAA. Given that fact, you’d never guess this, but coach Quinn considers four to be his team’s magic number. And that’s a reference to taking no more than four penalties across all three periods. When that’s been the case, meaning BU is playing 5-on-5 hockey, it’s a dominant team that makes mediocre teams look poor and great teams look OK. This was the case in the 3-0 win over Northeastern on Nov. 5, as BU took five penalties, and the same pattern repeated in the 4-0 win over Vermont on Dec. 10, when it took six penalties. The Terriers are far from perfect in this regard, but the trend is clear. – Jonathan
Surprise, surprise – Perhaps the most fun I’ve had watching the team so far was the last game of the semester, when Shane Switzer scored twice to propel BU to a 5-2 victory over Yale. Can’t say anyone saw that coming. It was great to see the guys hype the crowd up when Switzer was named the No. 1 star after the game. – Nick
Breakout moment – Another shining moment came in the exhibition against Prince Edward Island, when Pat Harper scored five times. Obviously, the competition wasn’t the best. But after Harper’s third or fourth goal, it became pretty clear that this guy was going to be integral. I remember being surprised that Harper was on the first line with Forsbacka Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter. Can’t say it was a bad move. – Nick
Bye bye Crimson – Outside of the result itself, pre-break games boast an extra layer of significance in that the scoreline will linger around for quite some time. So when then-No. 9 Harvard University visited Agganis Arena on Nov. 22 – just before the Thanksgiving break – an essential opportunity was before the Terriers. Its next game wasn’t for 10 days either, so a win or loss would remain fresh. In back-and-forth fashion, BU edged out a 5-3 win over the Crimson. Furthermore, coach Ted Donato’s side is now ranked fourth in the nation, making the win better than advertised at the time. – Jonathan
UConn at home – While adulation usually follows the Terriers at every turn, a low moment arose on Nov. 19 at Agganis Arena. The visiting UConn Huskies blanked BU, 4-0, cementing the fact that Hockey East wins won’t come easily for this squad. Quinn’s side didn’t play poorly against the likes of Tage Thompson and Max Letunov, so perhaps the result was an outlier without much of an explanation. After all, sometimes the better team goes home empty handed. – Jonathan
The big get: Oh yeah, we almost forgot about the commits the Terriers secured during the season. It appears the biggest one was forward Shane Bowers, a 17-year-old currently with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL. He currently has nine goals and 10 assists through 26 games after totaling 33 points with the Black Hawks last season. With a few present Terriers likely to move on to the NHL next season, Bowers should contribute right away in 2017-18. – Nick
Reinforcements –On top of that, Finland defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo (at least it’s easier to spell than Grzelcyk) committed to BU and is likely to play next season. Kotkansalo, 18, measures up at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds and has a reputation for hard hits on the boards. He is also currently in the USHL, totaling a plus/minus rating of +7 in 20 games with the Sioux Falls Stampede. – Nick
Red, white and blue – When BU scrimmaged the U.S. National Team Development Program on Oct. 6, Terrier fans got a major glimpse into the future. The coveted squad featured defenseman David Farrance and forwards Brady Tkachuk and Logan Cockerill. While none registered a point – largely the product of BU skating to a comfortable 8-2 win – it was still interesting to see what the young guns could do. Lastly, Tkachuk is second on the NTDP in points with 22, Farrance is seventh with 18 and Cockerill is ninth with 17. – Jonathan
Don’t forget about me – While so much attention, understandably, is given to BU’s big-name recruits, it’s important not to lose sight of those who might not boast as lofty of a pedigree. This is certainly the case with Ty Amonte, who will call Agganis Arena home in the fall of 2017 and currently skates with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. That’s the same squad that Fabbro used to play for, and Amonte currently has 28 points in 35 games for them. – Jonathan