Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer Update

A few things to catch up on regarding BU hockey the last month or so. First, news broke a few weeks ago that incoming freshman Maxim Letunov would be attending UConn instead of BU this fall. Letunov is a highly skilled second round draft pick. He was apparently set on coming to BU but had trouble being admitted to the university over some classes he took in his native Russia. It is certainly a tough blow to BU to lose a guy this late in the summer but the staff is the best in the country at recruiting(keep reading for further proof) and they will be just fine at forward without Letunov. There is talks that 2016 recruit Ryan Cloonan could be accelerated to this year but that doesn't seem too likely at this point.

The second loss BU suffered this month was when associate coach Steve Greeley was hired by the New York Rangers as an Assistant Director of Player Personnel. It is being reported that Director of Hockey Ops Scott Young will be promoted to assistant coach and someone will be hired to fill his position. This would certainly make the most sense as Young has coached in the past, has tons of NHL experience, is a Stanley Cup Winner, and was basically an assistant coach last year for BU(he can't talk to the players during the game due to some dumb NCAA rule but he was on the bench with the other coaches.) It will be interesting who Coach Quinn would then hire for Young's former role as he has plenty of choice with BU alums still in the game.

Coach Greeley did a hell of a job in his two years back at his alma mater after he spent years as a scout in the Los Angeles Kings organization. He certainly has a great eye for talent and the type of player Coach Quinn wants on his team. A perfect example of this was a month ago when a 2016 recruit on a partial scholarship, Kole Sherwood, was signed by his hometown Columbus Bluejackets after how impressed they were with him at their developmental camp. Greeley helped find and recruit this player almost a year ago as he went undrafted in both the NHL and the CHL. Greeley helped build quite the recruiting pipeline with Young, Quinn and fellow assistant Albie O'Connell as you can see in the rudimentary slideshow below. Every BU fan should be grateful for everything Coach Greeley did for this program and we wish him luck with the Rangers going forward.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Jack Eichel signs with Buffalo

Terrier freshman pheneom Jack Eichel officially signed with the Buffalo Sabres today ending his NCAA career as he begins his NHL career. As everyone knows by now, Eichel was the best player in college hockey this year for sure and maybe of all time. He had achieved everything you could look to accomplish at the NCAA level individually and the team did very well too winning the Hockey East regular and postseason titles, Beanpot and making it to the NCAA championship game in April. As a Terrier fan, I wish Jack nothing but the best as his impact will still be felt throughout the program for years to come. He made the coaching staff job easier in so many ways on the ice but also during recruiting. It probably wasn't too hard of a sell to AJ Greer , Brandon Fortunato or any other of his classmates last year on a chance to play with a player of Eichel's caliber. Now the coaching staff has continued to bring in that high level of talent but Eichel certainly was a big boost in getting that started. I'm not saying the recruiting pipeline wouldn't be as strong as it is without Eichel because this staff is the best in the country right now and it's not close but I am saying that Eichel certainly didn't hurt as he gave them another tool to recruit with.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Four Terriers taken in NHL Draft

                                                              Photo Credit to Indy Star

Four current/future Boston University Terriers were taken in the first 50 picks of the NHL draft this weekend. Star rising sophomore Jack Eichel was taken second overall as expected by the Buffalo Sabres where he will eventually join former linemate Evan Rodrigues in the organization. The second Terrier taken was Eichel's classmate,AJ Greer who went 39th overall to the Colorado Avalanche.Greer will most likely spend 2-3 more seasons on Comm. Ave before making the jump the professional ranks however. Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson went 45th to the Boston Bruins and Jordan Greenway went 50th to Minnesota Wild. Both of them will be freshmen on the team this coming season and expect to make immediate impacts with classmate Maxim Letunov who was a second round draftpick in last year's draft.

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 NHL.com 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.