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.

BU landed stud defenseman Chad Krys earlier this week and he will come to BU next season after a year with the USA U-18's this year. Krys becomes the possible fifth member of next year's class(Keller, Bellow, Oettinger, MacAvoy) that could be a first round pick and continues the absolute beatdown Quinn and Co are laying down on the rest of college hockey when it comes to recruiting. They apparently aren't done either as they are one of the five schools(BC, North Dakota, Minnesota,Denver) in Dante Fabbro who is another top end defenseman for the 2016 NHL Draft.

JJ Piccinich also left the team and signed with the London Knights of the OHL. We wish JJ the best of luck up there as he was looking for more ice time than he would most likely get at BU and you certainly can't fault a player for that. With all that said, here is my latest lineup projection for the fall barring any additional departures(hopefully not) or some late additions to the roster.

Latest Opening Night Lineup Projection

Greenway- O'Regan- Baillargeon
Oksanen- JFK- Greer

Kelley, Lawrence, Ryan,Cloonan(2015/2016)

Switzer- Grizz(injured)

1a Maguire
1b LaCouvee
1c Prawdzik

Looking at the lineup, there are certainly some questions as to how replace the production of Eichel, Rodrigues and Hohmann up front as well as O'Connor in net but I believe this team certainly has the talent to do it. The entire defensive corps is back and will be the best in the country which should make life easier for the young forwards. The forward group also returns former 30+ point scorers in Oksanen, O'Regan and Baillargeon(two years ago). The goaltending is a question mark but Sean Maguire has proven that he is a D-1 caliber goalie his first two years before he was injured and redshirted last season. Connor LaCouvee should only improve from last season and also seems very capable of carrying the load if he has to. Max Prawdzik is a kid who may not necessarily start right away but is certainly capable of pushing the other two goalies to be better.

Leading up to the season, you will hear all about BC's team and how greatly talented their freshmen are, how great Demko feels after his surgery blah blah blah. Well people(coaches/media said that before last year too and BC didn't win a meaningful game all year. They have three legitimate dmen and none of their freshmen forwards are Jack Eichel so don't believe the hype when they probably get picked first in the preseason polls that mean nothing.

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