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.
It certainly has been a tale of two seasons for the No. 13 Boston University men’s hockey team — and it is not over yet. After facing off against No. 4 Cornell University 3-1 Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals at the DCU Center in Worcester, the Terriers (22-13-4, 12-8-4 Hockey East) downed Cornell (25-6-2) 3-1 in a rematch of November’s Red Hot Hockey game.
Freshmen forwards Shane Bowers and Logan Cockerill as well as freshman defenseman David Farrance all found the back of the net in the win against the Big Red.
On Sunday in the regional finals, the Terriers will take on the No. 10 University of Michigan for the ninth time in the NCAA tournament, which marks the most times BU has played a single opponent in the tournament of all time.
The Wolverines (21-14-3) knocked off No. 8 Northeastern University 3-2 yesterday, thanks two goals from junior forward Cooper Marody and one from senior forward Dexter Dancs.
The game will feature a total of 19 players currently drafted by NHL teams with the Terriers having 12 on their roster and the Wolverines sporting seven.
However, both teams also have a top-four rated North American Skater for the NHL draft in BU’s freshman forward Brady Tkachuk and Michigan’s freshman defenseman Quinn Hughes, who are ranked third and fourth, respectively.
Although they will be facing off against each other Sunday, Hughes and Tkachuk were teammates during the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship for Team USA.
Both the Terriers and the Wolverines sent three players to the international tournament. For BU, sophomores goaltender Jake Oettinger and forward Patrick Harper. In addition to Hughes, Michigan sent forwards sophomore Will Lockwood and freshman Josh Norris.
Tkachuk outscored the three Wolverines in that tournament 9-6.
Since returning from the tournament on Jan. 6, Oettinger boasts a 1.96 goals against average and a goal save percentage of .931, which puts the Lakeville, Minnesota native 11th in the nation in both categories.
The first round Dallas Stars prospect has played extremely well since the start of the Hockey East Tournament on March 9.
During the last five games, the netminder has posted a .949 goal save percentage and a goals against average of 1.69, which puts him fourth and 12th in the country respectively.
BU will look to him to stop a Michigan offense that ranks ninth in the country averaging 3.34 goals per game, which is led by Marody who has 48 points. The Wolverines have seven players more than 20 points and two with 40 or more.
Although BU does not have a single player on their roster with 40 points, it has four players with 30 or more points and a total of eight players with 20 points or more.
Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter leads the Terriers in points (35) and goals (20).
Michigan will turn to sophomore goaltender Hayden Lavigne to slow down the Terriers offense.
He current sits on a .910 goal save percentage and a 2.76 goals against average of 2.76 while picking up one assist.
BU is playing in its third regional final in the past four years, which matches the University of Denver and the University of Minnesota Duluth as the only teams to do so.
With a victory over the Wolverines, the Terriers will find themselves in the Frozen Four for the first time since the 2014-15 season where they fell to Providence College in the National title game.
It’s been three years since the No. 18 Boston University men’s hockey team faced No. 9 Providence College at TD Garden. In that game, the Friars (23-10-4, 13-7-4 Hockey East) overcame Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Jack Eichel and downed BU (20-13-4, 12-8-4 Hockey East) to take home the school’s first national championship.
For the Terriers, the options are simple: with a win they secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but with a loss, their season is over.
BU’s season almost ended Friday night at the hands of No. 14 Boston College.
The Eagles (20-14-3, 18-6 Hockey East) jumped out to a 2-0 lead by three minutes and 26 seconds into the second period.
However, the Terriers battled to send the game into overtime, where sophomore forward Patrick Curry cleaned up a rebound from freshman forward Shane Bowers 15:40 into the extended period to send BU to the championship game.
The Terriers have remained undefeated (13-0-2) in games where Curry has notched a point.
The Friars also needed overtime to put themselves in position to win their first Hockey East crown since 1996.
In a battle of two top-10 teams, Providence overcame No. 7 Northeastern University 2-1 in overtime.
The Friars jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the Huskies (23-9-5 15-6-3 Hockey East) knotted the game in the second period thanks to a short-handed goal by senior forward and assistant captain Dylan Sikura.
Freshman forward Austin Goldstein and sophomore forward Kasper Bjorkqvist each tallied goals for Northeastern and Providence, respectively, in the third period, but sophomore forward Brandon Duhaime scored the game-winner for the Friars 9:55 into overtime.
BU and Providence split the three regular season games evenly at 1-1-1, with both wins coming from the home team.
Sophomore defenseman Chad Krys picked up three points against the Friars, including a two-goal game at Agganis Arena on Nov. 3. Junior forward and assistant captain Bobo Carpenter also recorded a two-goal game against Providence at Agganis on Jan. 13.
The Friars are led by Hockey East First-Team All-Stars junior forward Erik Foley and sophomore defenseman Jacob Bryson. Foley recorded two goals against the Terriers this season.
In net, the Friars feature Hockey East All-Star Second Team member junior goaltender Hayden Hawkey — who shutout BU earlier this season at Schneider Arena. He will be tasked with stopping a BU offense that averages 3.14 goals per game, a mark that is good for second in the conference.
Hawkey’s netminding counterpart, sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger, also recorded a shutout in the series on Nov. 3. The Terriers will rely on the Lakeville, Minnesota native to slow down a Providence team that is third in the conference in scoring, as the Friars average 3.11 goals per game.
Providence already has guaranteed its spot in the NCAA tournament, but for the Terriers, it is the definition of “win or go home.”
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?
The No. 18 Boston University men’s hockey team picked up another two points this weekend in its road series against the University of Maine. The Terriers are currently tied for fourth place in Hockey East alongside No. 10 Providence College.
On Friday night at the Alfond Arena, redshirt sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik made his second collegiate start in net. Despite putting up 42 shots, with 18 in the final period, BU was only able to get two past Maine’s sophomore goaltender Jeremy Swayman for a final score of 5-2 in favor of the Black Bears.
The following evening at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, the Terriers were able to convert their opportunities for a season-high seven goals. Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger made 30 saves to shutdown any goals for Maine and recorded his sixth career shutout.
For freshman Terriers – Kasper Kotkansalo, Logan Cockerill, Hank Crone and Brady Tkachuk – also scored their first goals as Terriers. Kotkansalo finished the series with one goal and one assist, Cockerill had two goals and two assists and Crone picked up an assist in addition to his goal.
Freshman forward Shane Bowers registered two goals and one assist over the series. Freshman forward Jake Witkowski and freshman defenseman Cam Crotty each tallied their first collegiate points.
BU will play in the 6th biannual Red Hot Hockey game at Madison Square Garden this upcoming Saturday. Be sure to follow along on the live blog and Twitter as Boston Hockey Blog travels to New York City.
BU was slated as No. 2 behind University of Denver in the preseason poll, and kept this standing as it beat Union 4-1 during its home-opener and Quinnipiac University 4-3 in overtime. However, a sweep by Minnesota State University caused the Terriers to drop to No. 7. The following weekend, BU split its series against UConn and moved up a spot.
After losing to both the Denver and Providence College, the Terriers went to No. 12. The following weekend, BU split its Hockey East matchups after a win against Providence, but a loss to Northeastern, causing it to drop to No. 15. Finally, despite beating UNH, the Terriers were swept by Northeastern giving them a No. 18 spot in the polls.
Record: 5-6-1, 3-3-1 Hockey East during the Terriers’ first 12 games
Power Play: 20.4 percent
Junior forward Bobo Carpenter has scored four of his seven goals while BU was on a power play.
Penalty Kill: 70.6 percent
Carpenter scored two short-handed goals against UConn on Oct. 20.
“At the end of the day, this is a game about scoring goals. We can talk about forechecking, d-zone coverage, we can talk about power plays and penalty kills, but you got to score goals.” — Coach Quinn after 1-6 loss to then-No. 13 Northeastern University
After this weekend’s series against the University of Maine, the Terriers will only have five more games left before the end of the semester.
Cornell University at Madison Square Garden for Red Hot Hockey, 8 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 25
Boston College at Conte Forum, 7 p.m. on Friday Dec. 1
Boston College at Agganis Arena, 7 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 2
University of Massachusetts Lowell at Tsongas Center, 7:15 p.m. on Friday Dec. 8
University of Massachusetts Lowell at Agganis Arena, 7 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 9
Once again, the No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team went into the weekend looking for four Hockey East conference points and emerged with two. However, over the past two weekends, the Terriers’ performance has been solid on Friday and poor on Saturday.
The opposite occurred this weekend as BU fell 6-1 to No. 13 Northeastern University at Matthews Arena and shutout the No. 9 University of New Hampshire at home the next night.
On Friday night, the student section of Matthews was sold out and served as an energizer for the Huskies to get two early tallies within three minutes of each other. Sophomore forward Patrick Harper notched the Terriers lone goal of the night 42 seconds into the second period. Afterward, Northeastern scored four unanswered goals, three of which were on a power play.
Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger was switched in for redshirt sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik for the first time all season after forward Lincoln Griffin scored his second goal of the night. Prawdzik played for the remainder of the game, clocking in six minutes and five seconds, and played well until freshman forward Bobby Hampton slipped a goal past him.
Despite the goal being let through, Prawdzik saw his first collegiate start the following night against UNH. Four separate BU players – freshman forward Ty Amonte, sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro, junior forward Jordan Greenway and junior forward Bobo Carpenter – scored over the three periods and Prawdzik made 29 saves for the Terriers to secure a 4-0 shutout.
BU will go on its first road series next weekend against the University of Maine. The first game will take place in Orono at the Alfond Arena on Friday while the second will be held in Portland at the Cross Insurance Arena the following night.
The No. 15 Boston University men’s hockey team went into the weekend looking for four Hockey East conference points and emerged with two.
On Friday night, the Terriers looked to bounce back from their 3-0 loss to No. 8 Providence College. After a scoreless two periods, sophomore defenseman Chad Krys broke through the Friars’ defense and scored his first two goals of the season within 1:37 of the other. Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger’s 31-save night also contributed to the 2-0 win and marked his fifth collegiate shutout.
However, BU was unable to carry this momentum into the following night as it hosted No. 13 Northeastern University. Forwards Bobby Hampton and Nolan Stevens got the Huskies on the board twice during the opening frame in what appeared to mimic last season’s Hockey East quarterfinals to a tee.
Unlike like the quarterfinals, the Terriers were unable to come back despite junior forward Jordan Greenway’s second goal of the season. Stevens went on to score twice more in the second period to bring Northeastern home a 4-1 win while BU accumulated two game misconducts in the final period.
While the Terriers were unable to match the Huskies’ offense, they will have another chance next Friday night at Matthews arena. Then the following night BU will host the University of No. 9 New Hampshire at Agganis Arena.