Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Goodbye Boston, Hello Columbus

Photo by Rob Gagnon
2016-17 captain Doyle Somerby has signed a two-year, free-agent contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 6’5” blueliner from Marblehead had been drafted by the Islanders in 2012, but elected to explore the free-agent market following his senior season.

Before joining the Terriers, he skated three seasons for Kimball Union Academy, captaining the 2012-13 squad and leading the team’s defensemen in scoring. As a Terrier, he tallied eight goals and 19 assists, while recording 160 penalty minutes and a cumulative +11 rating. Somerby scored the game-winning goal against North Dakota in the 2015 NCAA semifinals and a memorable center-ice hit against Minnesota-Duluth (video, 5:00 mark) in that year's Northeast Regional final..

Discussing his preparedness for the NHL with The Salem News, Somerby said:

"I ended the year on a pair with Charlie McAvoy.  To see how he walked into the [NHL] playoffs and picked up 26 minutes a night for the Bruins, that just shows you the strength of the BU program. Practicing with guys like that gets you ready."

● Blue Jackets announcement
● Salem News report and interview
● NBCSports.com report

SBN-Second City Hockey ranks Chad Krys as the Blackhawks #11 prospect.
SBN report

Masslive.com spoke with junior center Ryan Cloonan about the pipeline of the Western Massachusetts skater to Division 1 and about steps he’s taking to put himself on the scoresheet more often.

Masslive.com report

Looking ahead
2019 recruit Robert Mastrosimone’s first-period goal was the game-winner in the U.S. U-17 Select Team’s  6-2 exhibition game win against HC Vitkovice U-18. Team USA begins the Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic on Thursday against Switzerland. 2020 recruit Cade Webber is also on the U.S. squad, whose team manager is former Terrier Kenny Rausch.

After scoring 44 points in 41 games in an injury-shortened season for the Shattuck St. Mary's U-16 squad, Mastrosimone, an East Islip, NY native, will head to the USHL and skate for the Chicago Steel this season.
● USA Hockey recap, tournament home page

Rausch tweeted that all the Five Nation games will be live-streamed:

Friday, August 18, 2017


ESPN’s Corey Pronman has published his annual NHL top prospect rankings with five current Terriers and three former Terriers included: #1 Clayton Keller, #4 Charlie McAvoy, #57 Dante Fabbro, #67 Jordan Greenway (photo), #70 Patrick Harper, #81 Kieffer Bellows, HM David Farrance. Jake Oettinger was #6 among goalies.

Looking back

Chris Higgins, a dynamic Terrier forward, who scored 132 points over four seasons at BU, announced his retirement from the Belfast Giants of the UK Elite League. Higgins played three of the past four seasons with the Giants, earning the nickname, “The Belfast Datsyuk" and producing a career-best 55 points. At BU, he won two Hockey East titles (2006, 2009), a national championship (2009) and Hockey East’s Sportsmanship Award (2008). Higgins first Beanpot game produced one of that tournament’s iconic goals.
Former Terrier captain Steve Thornton, a member of the 1995 national championship squad, is in his fourth year as Head of Hockey Operations for the Giants.  Shane Johnson, a BU defenseman who also skated for the 1995 champions is Project Manager for the NCAA Friendship Four Tournament in Belfast that features Hockey East and ECAC teams. BU makes its first appearance in November 2018. Both Thornton and Johnson are former on-ice standouts for the Giants.
● Belfast Giants.com report
● ITV.com report
● Elite Prospects page


Two more Terriers will be skating in Europe this season. Former BU assistant captain Cason Hohmann is heading across the pond to play for HC Banska Bystrica in Slovakia. The Texas native, who scored 92 points as a Terrier, spent most of the past two seasons in the ECHL, scoring 57 points in 2015-16.
● Elite Prospects page

Ahti Oksanen has returned to Finland, signing with SaiPa of the Finnish Liiga after spending last season with ECHL Greenville (52 points in 53 games) and AHL Hartford. As a Terrier he scored 51 goals and 115 points.
● SaiPa.fi report
● Elite Prospects page

Looking ahead
2019 recruit Robert Mastrosimone and 2020 recruit Cade Webber are members of the US Under-17 Select Team headed to the Czech Republic for next week’s Five Nations Tournament with games against Switzerland, Slovakia, Germany and the hosts. Mastrosimone, after two high-scoring years at Shattuck St. Mary’s, will join the USHL Chicago Steel, while Webber, a 6’4” defenseman, skates for The Rivers School, coached by former BU All-American Shawn McEachern. Team Manager for the U.S. squad is former Terrier forward and assistant coach Ken Rausch.
● USA Hockey report, roster, schedule

Women’s Team
A trio of Terrier seniors were selected in last night’s NWHL entry draft. Victoria Bach, who led Hockey East in scoring last year (49 points) and captain Rebecca Leslie (34 points) were picked by the New York Riveters, while Nina Rodgers, who transferred to BU from Minnesota (31 points) was selected by the Connecticut Whale.
GoTerriers.com report

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quinn: ’17-’18 Terriers will be deeper, more mature, very competitive

Terriers' early outook
By Neal E. Boudette
Boston University will have a completely different look this season compared to the highly touted team that just missed getting to the Frozen Four in April.

But Coach Dave Quinn feels pretty good about what he sees.

“We’re going to be older and deeper, and we are going to be very competitive,” Quinn told a group of BU 40 alums and Terrier fans at a BU Hockey Summer Roundtable this past weekend. “I can’t wait for practice to start.”

The Terriers are welcoming ten new players to the lineup. Nine are freshmen, five of whom were chosen in the NHL draft in June, and one is a graduate transfer from RPI, 22-year old Drew Melanson.

Quinn said he thinks Melanson was one of the top players on an RPI team that won just six games last year, and has the potential to be a strong contributor at BU. “He’s quick, has good hockey sense,” Quinn said. “He’s going to be a real good player for us.” The New Jersey native had led RPI in scoring as a freshman.

Canadian Shane Bowers, taken by Ottawa in the first round, 28th overall, headlines the incoming class. The 6’1” center from Halifax had 51 points for USHL Waterloo. He’s joined by three defensemen all drafted in the third round – Finnish blueliner Kasper Kotkonsalo (#71 overall, Detroit), Canadian Cam Crotty (#82, Arizona) and American David Farrance (#92, Nashville). Logan Cockerill, a speedy forward whose stock is on the rise, was drafted in the 7th round by the Islanders.

Also arriving are Hank Crone (photo), from the Fargo Force in the USHL, where he was 24-38-62 in 56 games, third best in the league; Ty Amonte, son of Terrier great Tony Amonte, who had a 17-20-37 scoring line in 58 games in the BCHL last year; and Jake Witkowski, a Melrose, Massachusetts native who also spent last season in the BCHL, going 23-17-40. At 20 years of age, Witkowski will add age, maturity and grit to the line up.

The final freshman is Brady Tkachuk, son of former Terrier Keith Tkachuk. Draft-eligible next year and projected to be a top 10 pick, he was a standout for the American team in the recent World Junior Summer Showcase, showing both high-end skill with the puck and relentless, physical grit.

“He’s a beast,” Quinn said. “I think about putting him and Jordan Greenway on a line together.”

The coach was serious, too. It’s a potentially punishing combination he’ll probably try at some point during the season.

Quinn said he likes how this incoming group will fit with the returning players, especially leaders like Greenway, Bobo Carpenter (photo), Patrick Harper and Nik Olsson. The forwards will match up with a D corps that counts seven drafted players. The Terrier goal will be minded by Jake Oettinger with a year of experience behind him and by Max Prawdzik, back from a stint in the NAHL, where he led the Lone Star Brahmas to the league title.

“This group has become more mature than last year, when we were the youngest team in college hockey,” Quinn said.

This year’s Terrier team will likely have a more balanced attack, and should get stronger contributions from the third and fourth lines, Quinn said. And he expects many of the new arrivals to stay beyond just one or two years.

“This is the ideal recruiting class,” Quinn said. “We may not have a Clayton Keller or a JFK, I think this year’s class is going to make contributions to the program over a longer period of time.”

►isportsweb.com reviewed the Nashville Predators prospects who played in the World Junior Summer Showcase, including Terriers Dante Fabbro, David Farrance and Harper. The report noted that Harper’s idea of playing center is a bit different from the norm:

 “At times he can be a playmaking, pass-first set-up man that camps out on the half wall on the power play, but at times he can drive and finish the play with elite execution on his own much like a winger would breaking through the neutral zone.”

isportsweb.com report

TheHockeyNew.com: WJSS standouts

Looking ahead
SB Nation looks at which Hockey East schools have the most recruits in their pipelines for 2000, 2001 and 2002 birth years. BU has the second most with 13, trailing BC, which has 15. Northeastern is third with 10.
● SBNation.com report
● College Hockey Inc. BU recruits

Looking back
The Hockey News’ early look at candidates for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top rookie, lists Arizona’s Keller and Boston’s Charlie McAvoy as #1 and #2.
● TheHockeyNews.com report

Thirty-four teams, including a squad of Terriers, participated in this past weekend’s 16th annual Travis Roy Foundation Wiffleball Tournament in Essex, Vermont. With attendees from as far away as California and the U.K., the event raised more than $500,000 for enhancing the lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries and their families by providing adaptive equipment and by finding a cure through increased funding of research.
Roy suffered a spinal cord injury in his first game as a Terrier freshman in 1996. The injury has confined him to a wheelchair with only very limited use of one arm.
NBC 5 report and video
Burlington Free Press Sights & Sounds of 2017 tournament
Site Meter