A look back at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft

Jake Oettinger was the first goaltender selected in this year's draft. PHOTO COURTESY OF NHL.COM
Jake Oettinger was the first goaltender selected in this year’s draft. PHOTO COURTESY OF NHL.COM

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.

https://twitter.com/jake_oettinger/status/878484149753057281

The BU 2017 NHL Entry Draft preview

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.

Jake Oettinger after strong last season will likely be drafted in the first round. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Jake Oettinger will likely be drafted in the first round. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

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 Goaltender

Jake Oettinger

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.

Additional Thoughts

“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

Shane Bowers

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.

Additional Thoughts

“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

Cameron Crotty

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.

Additional Thoughts

“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

David Farrance

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.

Additional Thoughts

“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

Kasper Kotkansalo

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.

Additional Thoughts

“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

Projection: Third or fourth round

 

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.

 

BU visits UMass Lowell on Friday night to close out Hockey East series

A stern test awaits the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team, as it’ll visit No. 9 University of Massachusetts Lowell on Friday night.

Rumor is the Tsongas Center has been sold out for weeks, and rightly so with two of the NCAA’s elite teams duking it out. For context, they met back on Jan. 28, with BU earning a 4-2 win over the River Hawks.

Ahead of this game, Jonathan wrote his usual preview, so be sure to check that out over on The Daily Free Press.

As tough as Lowell will be, it’s hard not to look ahead to Monday night’s Beanpot title game vs. No. 4 Harvard University. Despite that, freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger stressed that the Terriers are staying in the moment.

“We have a chance to win a championship on Monday, but we also have a chance to move towards another championship Friday night. It’s trying to focus on one game at a time, because the biggest game ahead of us is Lowell. Just focus on that and … play a full 60. It’s going to be a really good test for us.” – Oettinger

For more from Oettinger and head coach David Quinn, click the link above.

The Look Back: BU sweeps Maine

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PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

There’s no other way to put it: It was another great weekend for the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team.

Pegged against the University of Maine for a weekend series, BU pushed its win streak to eight games with back-to-back victories. The first came on Friday night at Agganis Arena, with the Terriers knocking off the Black Bears, 4-1.

While that scoreline flatters BU, it wasn’t until a flurry of goals in the third frame that head coach David Quinn’s squad pulled away. What the third stanza did do, though, is set the stage for Saturday night’s rematch at Alfond Arena.

 

Maine was certainly boosted by playing on home ice, but the Terriers still etched out a 3-1 win. Here are some thoughts from the weekend’s games:

  • Patrick Harper: The freshman forward scored on the power play on Saturday, but then got injured and sat out the third period. We’ll touch base with Quinn early this week and see what his status is.
  • Clayton Keller: In my opinion, more people should be talking about what Keller’s return from injury in early December did to this squad. He now has a 10-game point streak and simply elevates his teammate’s play.
  • Jake Oettinger: What else is there to say about the 18-year-old goaltender? He stopped 39 of the combined 41 shots he saw against Maine; the only two that beat him were flukes off the stick of Blaine Byron. Should Oettinger keep this pace up, he could carry BU towards some hardware.
  • Kieffer Bellows: One surprise from Friday’s game was that Bellows dropped to the fourth line. He stayed there for Saturday’s contest, too, and saw time in both on the second power-play unit. It would be unfair to say he’s playing poorly, but fans have to be yearning for more offensive contributions from him.
  • Quick turnaround: BU will have hardly time to bask in these wins, as a visit to Merrimack College awaits on Tuesday night. The squad will take Sunday off, have an abbreviated practice on Monday and then get right back into the thick of it.

Highlights:

Press Conferences

Tweets of the Weekend

RECAP: BU earns sweep of BC with 3-0 win at Conte Forum

mumihvsbc-618-1600x1065What a weekend for the No. 3 Boston University men’s hockey team.

Pegged against its archrival, No. 10 Boston College, head coach David Quinn’s side earned a 3-0 win at Conte Forum on Monday night, capping off a series sweep. The Terriers had previously beaten the Eagles, 2-1, at home on Friday night, paving the way for four vital points in the Hockey East standings.

Freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger was once again outstanding, as he posted 34 saves and made the difficult ones look routine. The defense deserves plenty of credit, too, as it limited BC’s “Grade-A” chances and ultimately silenced head coach Jerry York’s squad. For a full recap of the night’s affairs, check out Shelby’s recap over on The Daily Free Press.

A dominant storyline from Monday’s tilt was the play of freshman forward Patrick Curry. He opened the scoring on a second-period power play, and was often doing the little things right against the Eagles. For a full account of the 21-year-old winger’s night, check out Jonathan’s story over on The Daily Free Press.

With a 1-0 lead late and two power-play chances, BU iced the game via goals from sophomore forwards Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Bobo Carpenter. Looking ahead, BU welcomes the University of Maine to Agganis Arena on Friday night, only to travel up to Orono on Saturday night for the reverse fixture.


Highlights:


Postgame Presser:


Tweets of the Game:


The Small Five:

  1. JFK now has seven goals in his last four games. The center from Stockholm, Sweden is on fire.
  2. Across the weekend, BU never allowed an even-strength goal. The Eagles’ lone tally came on Friday, with Colin White striking on the power play.
  3. While this is hard to measure, that felt like the most complete weekend the Terriers have put together all season. There was opportunistic finishing, solid offensive zone time, great transitions through the neutral zone and stellar goaltending. All around, there were little to no flaws. The only gripe I can think of is BU’s third period from Friday’s game, as it sat back and nearly offerred BC a lifeline.
  4. He’s not getting on the scoresheet, but I’ve really been impressed with sophomore forward Ryan Cloonan’s play. His ability on the breakout is nearly flawless, and his speed across the blueline continually pins defensemen back.
  5. BU now sits in second place in the Hockey East standings. Its next opponent, the Maine Black Bears, is tied for last place. We could very well see the Terriers surging up the table even more next weekend.

RECAP: BU Beats BC in first installment of the Battle of Comm. Ave.

The third period was shaky as can be, but Boston University held on against Boston College on Friday night at Agganis Arena, earning a 2-1 in the process.

The scoring got underway in the second period, when Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson tipped home a shot from Dante Fabbro. BC answered right back, though, with Colin White banging home a power-play goal with ease.

Looking to regain the lead, Clayton Keller scored the ultimate game-winner as provided by Jordan Greenway. For a full recap of the night’s affairs, check out Jonathan’s recap over on The Daily Free Press.

Outside of the goalscorers, this game was always going to feature an elite battle of goaltenders. On one side it was BU’s Jake Oettinger, and on the other BC’s Joseph Woll. They both featured on Team USA’s 2017 World Junior Championship squad that last week secured a gold medal.

For more on that clash, check out Jonathan’s sider over on The Daily Free Press.

Highlights

Press conferences

Photos

Tweets of the Night

Terriers replace Max Prawdzik, add goaltender Nico Lynch for depth

With goalie depth a concern for Boston University heading into next week’s game against Union College, the Terriers announced in a press release the addition of freshman netminder Nico Lynch to the team.

Last season, Lynch played at Barnstable High School, where he recorded a 1.80 GAA and was named to the Boston Globe All-Scholastics Old Colony All-Star Team. In the press release, BU head coach David Quinn said that the plan all along was for Lynch to enroll for the second semester.

The addition of Lynch comes a few days after it was confirmed sophomore goaltender Max Prawdzik would be leaving the Terriers to play with the Lone Star Brahmas in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Freshman goaltender and regular BU starter Jake Oettinger is with Team USA in the World Junior Championships, so it is likely he will be out for the Union game on Jan. 5.

That meant that junior netminder Connor LaCouvee may have been the only goalie available that week. With Lynch joining the team, that is no longer an issue.

The press release also included a quote from Quinn that Prawdzik plans to rejoin the Terriers next fall with sophomore eligibility.

Click here to read the full press release.

Fabbro, McAvoy shine for Canada, USA in second games of World Juniors

17action_online_maddiemalhotra-1-400x271With 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.

Highlights

1.) Canada beats Slovakia

2.) USA beats Slovakia

Tweets

Max Prawdzik to leave the Terriers, play in the NAHL

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.