|Matt Grzelcyk (pictured here) had a pretty good day|
First off, the good news. This morning, USA Hockey announced their preliminary roster for the World Junior Championships (also known as the U20s), set to begin December 26 in Russia. Among the 27 players was one of BU's own, freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. Matt's inclusion on the roster means he has been invited to the USA's preliminary camp in New York City, where they will whittle the roster down to 23 players. Grzelcyk, who has posted a 2-9-11 line in 13 games played for BU, is one of two Massachusetts players on the roster - the other being Harvard's Jim Vesey.
Grzelcyk's great morning somehow became an even better morning when Hockey East released their monthly awards. The Bruins draft pick nabbed Hockey East's Rookie of the Month award for November. The release cited Matt's 2-6-8 line in 8 games played, to go along with a plus/minus of +4 and 6 blocked shots.
A little before 6 pm today, BU athletics issued a press release saying that redshirt sophomore forward Yasin Cisse had left the team to pursue hockey interests in Canada. There is speculation that he will end up in the Q, although I believe he would be an over-ager for that league.
His departure comes as a surprise to most everybody, and leaves BU very thin at forward. Not including walk-ons (and friends of the blog) Matt Ronan and Jake Moscatel, BU currently has 12 forwards on the roster.
Cisse's time at BU was marked by injuries and odd stories about his unhappiness with playing time. He was redshirted due to an ankle injury that nagged him prior to his arrival at BU and continued to nag him over his first seasons here. When he did come back healthy, he was apparently unhappy with his lack of playing time - highlighted in the "notes" section of this Daily Free Press article.
However, Yas played in all 13 games with the Terriers this fall, and was consistently playing a top-6 role for the team. His production had left much to desire, though, as he only posted an 0-2-2 line. His time in the penalty box had increased as of late, including taking 2 penalties in a bad loss to BC on Saturday. One has to wonder if Parker had told Yas that he was going to start rotating out of the line-up with some of the freshmen, and that's what prompted his departure from the team.
Regardless, his departure comes at a tough time for BU, as they take on top ranked UNH on Thursday in what many are calling a must win game for BU. Hopefully freshmen like Kurker, Lane and Moran take advantage of this increased responsibility and playing time going forward, but especially in these next two games.