Last year Terriers: Where are they now?

The first round of the annual Beanpot tournament is over, which means that there are only a few weeks left of the Boston University men’s hockey regular season. Looking forward, BU will take on No. 11 Northeastern University Monday night in the Beanpot Championship. After, the Terriers will only have conference matchups during the regular season.

As this blog has done in the past, Liam and Matt thought it would be a good idea to update the Boston Hockey Blog faithful on what the members of last year’s team, who do not wear the scarlet and white, are up to.

Oskar Andrén – Ferris State University
Andrén transferred to Ferris State University and has not appeared in a game for the team this season.

Kieffer Bellows – Portland Winterhawks

The former first round pick left BU to play junior hockey for the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. His 52 points (26g and 26a) have him third on the Winterhawks this season.

Bellows is known for his shot and it was on full display at the World Junior Championship, where he had nine goals over the seven games. He also secured a spot on the IIHF All-Star Team.

He signed an entry-level contract with the New York Islanders back in September.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson – Providence Bruins

The Terriers’ former assistant captain is currently skating for the Providence Bruins. He is currently tied for second with 13 goals and his 28 points are good for fourth.

Tommy Kelley – Worcester Railers

Kelley has split time this year with the Manchester Monarchs, Cincinnati Cyclones, Atlanta Gladiators and Worcester Railers.

In 13 games this year, he has two goals and two assists.

Clayton Keller – Arizona Coyotes

The former No. 7 draft pick is currently is lighting up the score sheets in the NHL. The 19-year-old rookie currently leads his team in points and is fourth among rookies with 36. He also leads the Coyotes with 14 points and 22 assists.

He is considered among the front runners for the Calder Trophy.

Connor LaCouvee – Minnesota State University

After backing up then freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger last season, LaCouvee transferred to Minnesota State University and is now their starting goaltender.

LaCouvee has appeared in 19 games this season, and has a 1.92 goals against average and .913 goal save percentage this season.

He returned to Agganis Arena in October and helped guide Mankato to a sweep of the Terriers. In his one appearance in the series, he saved 32 shots in the 6-3 victory.

Charlie McAvoy – Boston Bruins

The first year blueliner often skates among the first defensive pairing with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. McAvoy recently returned to the lineup after missing sometime due to a heart procedure.

On the season, McAvoy has 25 points thanks to five goals and 20 assists. He is also a strong candidate for the Calder Trophy.

Johnny McDermott – Providence College

McDermott announced he will continue his NCAA career with Hockey East foe No. 9 Providence College.

Nick Roberto – South Carolina Stingrays
The Wakefield native signed to play with the South Carolina Stingrays over the summer. In 33 games, he has 11 points.

Doyle Somerby – Cleveland Monsters

Last season’s captain, Doyle Somerby, signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets in August 2017 after not signing his entry-level contract with the New York Islanders.

He is currently skating for their AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, and has six assists so far on the season.

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

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

BU’s Keller, Greenway shine on first day of World Junior Championships

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Freshman forward Clayton Keller.

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.

7 BU hockey players make World Junior Championships

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 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:

  1. Dec. 26 vs. Latvia; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  2. Dec. 28 vs. Slovakia; 7:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  3. Dec. 29 vs. Russia; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  4. 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:

  1. Dec. 26 vs. Russia; 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  2. Dec. 28 vs. Latvia; 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  3. Dec. 29 vs. Slovakia; 8 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre
  4. Dec. 31 vs. USA; 3:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre

Click here for Team USA’s full roster, and here for Team Canada’s full roster.

Midseason Report: BU hockey, halfway through 2016-17 season, in position to thrive

2016harvard-3328-1600x1065Boy does time fly by.

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


Forwards

  • harper-vs-upeiPatrick 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
  • pvd_at_bu-1-1600x1067Third 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

Defense/Goaltending

  • pvd_at_bu-10-1600x1067Sixth 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
  • m46a0201Oettinger – 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

Special Teams

  • keller_maddiemalhotra_online-1-of-1-1600x1109Net 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
  • img_3767-1-1600x1138The 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

Defining Moments

  • 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
  • mhock7_justinhawk-1600x1190Breakout 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

Recruits

  • 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
  • img_3861-1600x1126Reinforcements – 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

Top Goals

1.) Patrick Harper vs. Northeastern

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2.) Brandon Hickey vs. Providence

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3.) Shane Switzer vs. Yale

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4.) Clayton Keller vs. Northeastern

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5.) Clayton Keller vs. Vermont

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Three Thoughts: BU’s split with Vermont

Charlie McAvoy has a team-best 11 assists, but was held off the scoreboard this past weekend against Vermont. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Charlie McAvoy has a team-best 11 assists, but was held off the scoreboard this past weekend against Vermont. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

The No. 5 Boston University men’s hockey team traveled to Gutterson Fieldhouse for a pair of games against No. 12 Vermont last weekend, falling 4-2 in Friday’s tilt before cruising to a 4-0 win on Saturday. A lot happened in the last series of 2016. Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives from the Terriers versus the Catamounts.

1.) Keller’s return – Man, it’s good to have Clayton Keller back. After missing seven games, the star freshman forward returned to the ice Friday night, slotting back into his center spot on the second line. He didn’t miss a beat, as he won 12-of-14 faceoffs and notched a helper on Pat Harper’s goal in the second period. It was more of the same on Saturday, as Keller went bar down for his sixth goal of the season on the power play in the third period. The Terriers may have gone 4-2-1 in Keller’s absence, but it’s obvious that BU is a much more dangerous team with Keller patrolling the ice. – Nick

2.) Power Play – BU came into this weekend having gone 1-for-24 on power plays in conference play. They really flipped the script on that one, going an impressive 3-for-8 on PP opportunities against Vermont. Bobo Carpenter and Pat Harper scored two on Friday, with Keller’s coming on Saturday. The Catamounts’ penalty kill was ranked 9th in the nation heading into Friday’s contest, so a very positive sign from a Terrier offense that has gone silent at times. – Nick

3.) Jake Oettinger – Sixteen games into the 2016-17 season, BU’s freshman netminder has recorded three shutouts and taken the starting job by storm. He posted 24 saves in Friday’s 4-2 loss, then bounced back on Saturday night and stopped 28 shots for his first goose egg on the road. Looking at the national picture, Oettinger is a top-five goaltender, at least according to USCHO’s statistics. Boasting .932 save percentage and 1.86 goals against average will do that for ya. Oh, and we’d be remiss not to point out that Oettinger soon heads to the U.S. Hockey World Junior Championship preliminary camp, so his stock should continue to rise.  – Jonathan

The Small Five

a.) Carpenter – I thought Bobo had a really strong weekend, especially on Saturday. On Friday, the sophomore kicked things off with a power play goal off a rebound, another case of him being around the puck at all times. On Saturday, Bobo was second on the team with four shots taken and was consistently chasing after the puck behind the Catamount net. He’s not going to get on the score sheet a whole lot this season, but he works his you know what off every night, and that was evident this weekend. – Nick

b.) Bellows sits – We mentioned in our Three Thoughts last week that we thought Bellows should sit a game, and that finally happened during Saturday’s win. He did have an assist on Friday, but he also was called for another penalty and finished the loss with a plus-minus of -2. It just hasn’t been the season we hoped the talented freshman would have, at least not yet. Hopefully he’ll turn it around in the second half of the season. – Nick

c.) Hockey East update – BU now sits tied for sixth in the Hockey East standings with 10 points in eight games. The University of New Hampshire, Notre Dame and Vemrmont are in front of the Terriers with 11 points each. Boston College may have a strong grip on the conference standings, but BU is right on the heels of the other frontrunners. Keep in mind, four of the five teams in front of the Terriers have played more games. – Nick

d.) Switzer and Diffley – Shane Switzer and Brien Diffley were pencilled into the lineup on Saturday night – Switzer alongside Brandon Hickey and Diffley with Somerby – and impressed. The moves were prompted by choice and necessity, as Dante Fabbro jetted off to Team Canada’s camp for World Juniors, while John MacLeod didn’t play. Nevertheless, these two blueliners seized their chance, contributing in notable ways to BU’s 4-0 shutout of the Catamounts. Furthermore, it was Switzer’s first appearance since Nov. 12’s 4-2 win over Michigan, while Diffley hadn’t skated since the 4-0 loss to UConn on Nov. 19. – Jonathan

e.) Team Defense –  For all the talk about how “stacked” BU’s offense is, it’s team defense is firmly entrenched in the country’s upper echelon. Its 2.06 goals against average is tied for the fourth fewest in Division 1 college hockey, while its 90.8 success rate on the penalty kill is third best nationally. One worrisome trend is the magic number number for opponents seems to be four – as in four goals allowed. BU has surrendered four strikes five times this fall semester, losing four times (t0 UConn, Michigan, Denver and Vermont) and drawing once (to Northeastern). – Jonathan

Seven Terriers make U.S. National Junior team; Fabbro joins Canadian squad

Chad Krys joined BU's cohort of draftees on Saturday morning. PHOTO COURTESY OF: USA Hockey
Chad Krys has been named to the USNJT preliminary roster for the second consecutive year. (PHOTO COURTESY OF: USA Hockey)

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.

Six Terriers to participate in Team USA National Junior Evaluation Camp

Jordan Greenway was one of six Terriers selected for NJEC.
Jordan Greenway was one of six Terriers selected for the NJEC.

College hockey season may be months away, but there are still opportunities for Boston University fans see some of BU’s finest take the ice.

On Friday, USA Hockey announced the two rosters that will participate in the National Junior Evalutaion Camp, which will be held June 30 to Aug. 6 in Plymouth, Michigan. The rosters come out a day after six Terriers were invited to the camp. Sophomore forward Jordan Greenway, freshman defenseman Chad Krys, sophomore blueliner Charlie McAvoy and freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger have been placed on the Blue Team, while freshman forwards Kieffer Bellows and Clayton Keller will join the White Team.

This will be the second NJEC for Greenway, McAvoy, and Krys. They were on the beginning roster last season with teammates Brandon Fortunato and John Macleod. Only McAvoy, Fortunato and Krys survived the final roster.

The athletes have been separated into two groups for three days of practice, as well as for games against Finland and Sweden. Team USA will trim its roster to a single team on Aug. 2 before finishing the camp with games versus Canada, Finland and Sweden.

You can find the 2016 NJEC schedule here.

How many NHL draft picks does Boston University have rostered?

Somerby will be BU's sole senior drafted by an NHL team. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Somerby will be BU’s sole senior drafted by an NHL team. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

This past weekend’s NHL Draft in Buffalo, New York was undoubtedly historic for the Boston University men’s hockey team. A whopping six Terriers heard their name called at First Niagara Center, speaking volumes to the youthful talent that will soon grace Agganis Arena for the 2016-17 season.

It’s important to take a step back, though, and ponder this: Just how many NHL selections does head coach David Quinn have at his disposal? As it turns out, quite a lot.

On any given weekend in Hockey East or out-of-conference play, it’s likely 11 skaters will have been drafted. The numbers break down to five forwards and six defensemen, altogether coalescing into what is – on paper – one of the NCAA’s most talented rosters.

Forwards: The Terriers have nearly two lines NHL scouts have tabbed as ready for the next step. It’s impossible to predict who will pan out as hoped, but potential is abound.

  1. Kieffer Bellows – Freshman – New York Islanders  – First round, 19th overall in 2016
  2. Jakob Forsbacka KarlssonSophomore – Boston Bruins – Second round, 45th overall in 2015
  3. Jordan Greenway – Sophomore – Minnesota Wild – Second round, 50th overall in 2015
  4. Patrick Harper – Freshman – Nashville Predators – Fifth round, 138th overall in 2016
  5. Clayton Keller – Freshman – Arizona Coyotes – First round, 7th overall in 2016

Defenseman: Lineup decisions and injuries notwithstanding, Quinn could field an entire defensive unit of NHL draft picks. Somerby, the team’s captain, leads the contingent.

  1. Dante Fabbro – Freshman – Nashville Predators – First round, 17th overall in 2016
  2. Brandon Hickey – Junior – Calgary Flames – Third round, 64th overall in 2014
  3. Chad Krys – Freshman – Chicago Blackhawks – Second round, 45th overall in 2016
  4. John MacLeod – Junior – Tampa Bay Lightning – Second round, 57th overall in 2014
  5. Charlie McAvoy – Sophomore – Boston Bruins – First round, 14th overall in 2016
  6. Doyle Somerby – Senior – New York Islanders – Fifth round, 125th overall in 2012

Here are some remarks from Quinn following the 2016 Draft about the NHL picks that’ll be wearing scarlet and white.

Also, be sure to read this article by Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated. He was on location in Buffalo last weekend, and has some interesting tidbits from McAvoy, Quinn and Jack Eichel.

Here’s a brief preview:

“Just talking about it and thinking about it,” said Charlie McAvoy, the only one of the quartet who skated for the Terriers last season. Not the upcoming first round of the draft, mind you, but the prospect of playing together in the fall. “It’s surreal, the class that we’re coming in with. It’s going to be special.”