Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NHL Draft Preview

The much anticipated 2015 NHL draft will take place this weekend in Florida where our boy Jack Eichel will be one of the top two picks. A lot of dumb Canadians are saying overrated CHL phenom Connor McDavid will go #1 overall and he probably will but that is more of a reflection of how dumb Edmonton management is than anything else. There are plenty of BU incoming freshmen and current players that have a chance to be drafted this weekend. The first round is Friday night with rounds 2-7 coming on Saturday starting at 10:00am.

Top BU Prospects
1. Jack Eichel- Top 2 overall pick
2. Jordan Greenway-1-2nd round
3. Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson- 2-3rd round
4. AJ Greer- 2-4th round
5. Johnny McDermott(2016)- 4th-6th round
6. Brien Diffley-5-7th round
7. Robert Carpenter-6th-7th round

These 6 prospects are only a fraction of the great job Quinn and Co have done in the past two years on the recruiting trail as they look likely to have 2-3 first round picks in next year's draft as well as possibly top 10 picks in the following two drafts.

Jack Eichel told that he has a pretty good idea of what he will do regarding going pro or returning college and will make a decision quickly following the draft. He really can't go wrong either way. The benefits of the NHL are obvious but everything indicates that Eichel is also seriously considering returning to school for a second season. As a BU fan, you obviously are hoping that he returns to Comm. Ave but he certainly can't be faulted for turning pro and if anyone says anything negative about his decision either way, they will feel the full wrath of BSRS.

The 2015-2016 schedule also was released this week.There are going to be some great non conference games at Agganis this year including Michigan, Denver, and Wisconsin Bentley. The Connecicut away trip to Yale and Quinnipiac along with Red Hot Hockey vs Cornell at Madison Square Garden are also highlight of the schedule along with the rest of the usual Hockey East foes including BC, PC, Lowell and the rest of the teams that suck. The only time the team will get on a plane will be the last weekend of the regular season when they travel to South Bend.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guest Post from @BurntBoats

Editor's Note: This is a guest post from @burntboats on twitter and you should take the time to read it if you are a BU hockey fan or if you root for another college team and want to become depressed.

If you’ve been following @BurntBoats for any period of time you know by now that possession stats have proven to be a valuable tool when evaluating hockey teams (if you haven’t and you want to learn, tweet at me and I’ll send you links to things written by people smarter than me). Obviously Eichel is a generational talent and comparing what he did to the prior year’s team is beyond unfair, so I have been comparing this season’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines to the prior year’s entire roster on twitter all season, this is my final comparison:

BU 2013-14 possession [5v5 Corsi] (35 games): 44.8%

Now who were the key players from 2013-14 who weren’t on the lines 2-4 in 2014-15?

Half of Baillargeon (Mono)
Half of Ahti (split 14-15 on 1st and 2nd lines)
O’Regan (1st line all of 14-15)
Noonan (graduation)
Half of Rodrigues (split 14-15 on 1st and 2nd lines)
Grzelcyk is a wash as he missed almost half of 2013-14 with an injury and likely spent about half of his 2014-15 with the 1st line.

So this year’s 2nd-4th line lost 3.5 of the best players from last year’s team, they and a handful of role players were replaced by a rotation of four freshman forwards and four more freshman defensemen. This year’s group had the advantage of playing against easier opponents than last year, as this year’s 1st line took up the majority of other teams’ top unit’s ice time. They had the disadvantage of score effects from playing with a lead most of the time, instead of from behind.

All these factors work to somewhat counterbalance each other, my rough educated guess is their net effect on possession is slightly positive, but under 2%.  So if this year BU’s 2nd-4th lines were around 46% that would be equivalent to last year, if they were at 48% that would represent a substantial but reasonable improvement, anything over that would be quite the turnaround.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Terrier Hockey Offseason Recap

A lot has happened in the last month or so of the offseason of BU hockey with more still to come later this summer.

1. Now former Terrier goalie Matt O'Connor has had a busy month of May as he has graduated from BU(in 3 years) and signed a two year entry level deal with the Ottawa Senators. Ottawa always seemed like the favorite for the Toronto native as he could go there and compete for playing time right away as well as play somewhere close to his family. Congrats to Matt on his new deal and best of luck moving forward.

2. Charlie Coyle, Nick Bonino and Jack Eichel showed the world what BU hockey was about at the World Championships. All three Terriers played pivotal roles on a team that took home Bronze over in Prague. It was certainly great to see them all contribute and help lead their country to a medal. Eichel definitely proved that he belongs with NHL talent throughout this tournament. This doesn't mean it's a sure thing he is leaving BU since there is NHL talent throughout the BU roster but no fan with a functional brain can fault him if he did leave for the NHL.

3. BU received commitments from Brady Tkachuk and Max Prawdzik. Tkachuk is the youngest son of former Terrier and NHL star Keith Tkachuk. He is slated to play for the USNTDP the next few seasons and will most likely arrive on Comm Ave in 2017. He was drafted by the London Knights of the OHL where his older brother just committed to play but it appears that many people believe he will keep his commitment to play for the Terriers. Prawdzik will be arriving at BU this fall to join the competition in net along with sophomore Connor LaCouvee and redshirt junior Sean Maguire. It will be an open competition in net as none of the goalies have started regularly at the NCAA level. Maguire has the most experience and would be the favorite in my eyes but it all depends how well he recovers from taking a full year off.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Senior Series Post #3: Evan Rodrigues

This is the third and final of our senior series posts for this season. You can read Cason Hohmann's here and Anthony Moccia's here.

                                                       Photo by Associated Press

Evan Rodrigues is a great hockey player in every aspect of the game. He could have played any position on the ice at any given time besides maybe goalie and been successful doing so. Rodrigues racked up an impressive 121 points in his playing career including 61 this past season which was good for second in the nation. "Erod" has come so far from his freshman campaign where he struggled to adjust to the pace of the college game at first as most freshman not named Jack Eichel do. The thing I remember most from Rodrigues' freshman year is him making one of his patented spin moves to deke out a D but then he would lose an edge or lose the puck and the play wouldn't finish developing. The difference between those days and now is huge. David Quinn called Rodrigues the smartest hockey player he has ever coached and he demonstrated his faith in him with ice time distribution. Rodrigues played the point on the powerplay and even took some draws as a dman with penalties expiring throughout the year no matter what zone the draw was in. Rodrigues is a complete hockey player with a large amount of talent that has only grown with hard work over his four years at BU.

 As a member of a 3 man freshman class, which would fall to 2 once Alexx Privitera left the program at the end of their sophomore year, There was tremendous pressure on both Rodrigues and fellow assistant captain Cason Hohmann to produce for this team the last two seasons. There are very few college hockey teams that can succeed without getting much production from a class especially your seniors(just ask Jerry York this past season). Rodrigues and Hohmann were counted for both leadership and production and they brought a lot of both.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Senior Series Post #2 Cason Hohmann

This is the second Senior Series post. You can read the first one on Anthony Moccia here.

Cason Hohmann gave 110% on every shift for his four years at Boston University. That is fact not opinion.  Hohmann was the heart and soul of this year's team along with fellow senior Evan Rodrigues. Hohmann put up 92 points in his career for the Terriers and it felt like he hit 92 posts too. He may have been snakebitten at times but he never let that affect his effort level. Hohmann was always going as hard as possible for the Terriers whether he was  healthy or playing through a shoulder injury that seemed to plague him throughout his career.

                                                    Photo by Maya Devereaux/Daily Free Press

The smallest forward on the team never let his size or lack thereof be an excuse or define what type of player he would be. He was not afraid to block a shot or dig out pucks in the corner. He was not afraid to take a hit to make a play. He was a very underrated playmaker and it showed this year as he was the one constant on the second line. He played with Evan Rodrigues, Ahti Oksanen, JJ Piccinich, AJ Greer, Robbie Baillargeon, and Nik Olsson during the year. All of those guys produced when they played with him. That isn't by accident. He is a great offensive player and an even better back checker/penalty killer.