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.

For whatever reason, fans and coaches throughout the rest of the country did not respect his game as much as the smartest fans in college hockey did at Agganis Arena. Somehow Rodrigues was left off the Hockey East first team by the coaches and left out of the Hobey Baker Award 10 Finalists. Both of which were honors he certainly deserved. He was definitely voted down for playing half of the season with future Hobey Baker award winner Jack Eichel which is fair to a degree because Eichel is a special player. What's not fair is the degree to which Rodrigues' accomplishments because of Eichel. This is of no fault of Eichel who would probably be the first to tell you what a great player Evan is and his stats will prove it. Rodrigues made Eichel a better player and Eichel made Rodrigues a better player. They had almost an equal amount of points in the second half of the season as their line(themselves and Danny O'Regan) continually produced and gave other teams fits. Rodrigues would have been the best forward on the other 11 other HE teams.

% of points the team's highest scoring forward had compared to Rodrigues

BC- Tuch (45.9%) Rodrigues outscored their top two forwards...combined
UConn- Pauly (32.8%) Rodrigues outscored their top three forwards combined
Maine- Shore(57.3%)
UMass- Kravchenko(54.1%) Rodrigues tied UMass' top two forwards in scoring output
Lowell- Smith(57.3%)
Merrimack- Seney(42.6%) Rodrigues outscored their top two forwards combined
UNH- Kelleher(68.9%)
lil bro- Roy(72.1%)
Norte Dame- Hinostroza(72.1%)
PC- Saracino(62.3%)
UVM- Shaw(50.8%)- Rodrigues outscored their top two forwards combined

The two guys who got Hockey East first team over Rodrigues(Shore and Roy) didn't even match 75% of Rodrigues' output this year. I realized that Rodrigues played more games because his team was actually good but the fact they felt both of those guys had better years than him is a downright travesty. The same argument can be made with the Hobey Finalists as some stiff from RIT who Rodrigues dominated in scoring a far superior league made the cut over him. Teammate and captain Matt Grzelcyk agrees with me as you can see below. The fact that Rodrigues did not get more recognition from the coaches in the HE voting can be viewed as a positive as well though. If there are coaches so out of touch with reality that they think Vince Hinsotroza has as good of a year as Rodrigues, then no wonder Quinn is kicking their asses on the recruiting trails and on the ice.

Rodrigues would take the high road and did not let the dispesct impact his play in a negative way. He would go on to win the Most Outstanding Player at the Northeast regional after potting three goals including the game winner in the regional final. Rodrigues has since signed an entry level deal with the Buffalo Sabres and should challenge for ice time on the NHL team during the course of his two year deal. It is easy to forget that he is a true senior and is only 22 right now so his best hockey years are only ahead of him. He was a great Terrier for the past four years and will certainly be missed next season. If you're not pulling for this guy to make the NHL and shove all the disrespect in everyone's face then I don't want to know you. Best of luck Erod.

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