Sunday, December 20, 2015

Greer bolts for the Q; Oksanen injury forces staff to add another forward

The Terriers lost some serious depth this past week as the injury to Ahti Oksanen is now being reported as more serious than originally anticipated. They still plan to reevaluate him in the next few weeks but he is crucial to their ability to score goals from the forward position. Hopefully he can return at some point this season but it is seeming less and less likely after he suffered a shoulder injury in the Terriers last game of the first half against Quinnipiac.

In less important news, sophomore forward AJ Greer made the decision to leave the program to join the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior League. The 18 year old sophomore had only put 5 points this year in 18 games which brought him to 12 points in 55 career games. That production or lack there of certainly won't be difficult to replace and most likely played a large factor in his decision to leave BU. Greer was a second round pick this past NHL draft of the Colorado Avalnache who did not appear to have an preference if Greer played in the NCAA or major junior ranks. Greer is the latest in departures of college hockey players to major junior in the middle of the season. Jeremy Bracco left BC earlier this year in a similar fashion.

I am not going to go off on an 18 year old for making the decision that he feels is best for his career moving forward. This is especially true until we know the exact reasoning for his decision to leave BU. It could be academic, family(he is originally from Quebec), or play related. Regardless, it is not a good use of time to hate on the kid for a decision that you do not know the details about. With that said, leaving a team mid season when you know they will need to scramble to fill for depth is hopefully something he considered before making the decision. I find it hard to believe Greer left over ice time as he was consistently on one of the top three lines. He was just not producing statistically and also still needs to improve his skating ability dramatically before he will be NHL ready. It would have been better off for all sides involved if Greer finished the season and made this decision or made it right after the draft this past summer. Now the program needs to scramble to bring a guy for next semester which they have already done and Greer looks like a self-centered high round NHL draft pick in the process.

 Like I said earlier, his production will not be especially difficult to replace. The Terriers can find .22 points a game from other guys with increased ice time. Guys like Bobo Carpenter, Chase Phelps, and Robbie Baillargeon should all see an increase in opportunities in the second half and can certainly contribute more with the increase in ice time. The greater loss would be that of Oksanen who leads the team in goals and SOG. He is a real factor that always finds way to score goals when the team really needs one. Hopefully the injury is more short term than it appears at this time. The Terriers added Oskar Andren from the NAHL for the beginning of next semester due to their depth issues. The 5'9" left shot right wing is a native of Sweden and currently leads his NAHL team in scoring. He should be able to come in and contribute on the fourth line right away as he is already 20 years old and will be an older freshman. The staff may not be done adding forwards for next semester and certainly not for next year as they will be losing Oksanen, O'Regan, Lane and Moran at the end of the season and only have three forwards coming in at this time(Bellows, Keller,and McDermott). Granted those three forwards are very very good so they could play with 10 forwards next year and still be dominant if they wanted to.

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