Monday, August 8, 2016

Changing It Up

As some of you may know, I am getting set to enter my first year of college in a few weeks. This spring, when I gained admissions into school (I don't know how it happened either), I wrote that I would sit back and ponder the future of the blog over summer vacation and take it from there.

Here we are.

To make a long story short, I learned that there was an open managing position for the BC Hockey team and after asking just about everyone what they thought the best route would be, I am going to give it a shot. Consequently, there will be no Boston College Hockey Blog this upcoming season. While this is not the most popular website in the history of the internet, I understand that there is a substantial number of devoted followers who rely on this blog for up to date information on their beloved Eagles. The guys over at BC Interruption do an exceptional job of covering BC Hockey and they will continue to post game recaps, opinion pieces, and recruiting updates- make sure to check them out if you have not yet had a chance to do so.

At the end of the day, it's impossible for me to be a student, manager, and maintain this website on a daily basis. I have an enormous amount of respect for the players and coaches- running this blog while being inside the locker room would be totally unfair and wrong.

I never believed this thing would get more than two views, one from my laptop and one from my desktop. Thanks to hours of hard work and dedication from a lot of people, particularly my parents, that was not the case. From the first game I covered at BU in January of 2011, a 3-2 win for the good guys, to the heartbreaking loss at the hands of Quinnipiac in April, I could sit here for hours and discuss my favorite memories from running the BC Hockey Blog. At the end of the day, it was never about the games and recruiting battles that were won or lost, it was about meeting scores of individuals that have a tremendous amount of passion for a sport, a school, and a team that I myself deeply care about.

The coaches and players were always classy when it came to dealing with me, even if I wasn't always singing their praises. I tried my best to provide fair and insightful coverage every time I inked a post- even though it did not always work out that way.

I'm excited for the future of this program. To be perfectly honest with you, I don't know what this season holds. They could surprise people and morph into a legitimate contender but at the same time, they lost a ton of firepower from a season ago and it could take a few months for the rookies to adjust. As long as Coach York is at the helm, BC will be a threat to anyone in college hockey and with the recruiting classes they have set to arrive in the coming years, it won't be long until they are back in the winners circle.

So that is that. I will still be kicking around (knock on wood) Kelley Rink on game days so if you see a 5'7 kid with his hair gelled like a circus clown, don't be afraid to come over and talk some BC Hockey (or Phil Mickelson's golf game).

Someday in the future, I will reboot this thing, but until that point, thanks for all the memories- this has been an absolute blast.

Go Eagles.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Staff Lands First 2001 Defenseman

Continuing the trend of young commitments throughout college hockey, BC locked up its third 2001 birthdate this morning when defenseman Drew Helleson announced his intentions to play at The Heights. Helleson joins Patrick Moynihan and Spencer Knight in BC's 2019 class.

A native of Farmington, Minnesota, Helleson recorded 34 points in 46 games for the National Champion Shattuck St Mary's boys bantam squad. The loaded Sabres also featured prominent blue liners Braden Doyle (BU) and Cam York, one of the top uncommitted prospects in the United States. Nevertheless, Helleson is a major add for the Eagles as most scouting websites seem to think he will be given a long look next spring for the NTDP. Scout Matt Grainda describes Helleson as a "smart puck mover, plays a very balanced game". Western Elite Hockey Prospects has Helleson rated as their 9th best 2001 birthdate while The Scouting News believes Helleson is "one of the most complete 2001 defensemen in the world right now". At last week's Junior Chowder Cup, Helleson notched 3 points in 3 games but his Hockey Essentials squad fell to Moynihan's Black Squirrels club in the tournament final.

At first glance, this appears to be another nice get for a BC staff that has taken their recruiting game up three or four notches over the past twelve months. It is impossible to predict how young kids will develop between now and September of 2019 but Helleson, Moynihan, and Knight are three blue chip prospects that should mold into terrific college hockey players.

Go Eagles

Friday, July 22, 2016

Couturier Transferring to UMass

 Josh Couturier put an end to the rumors surrounding his future this afternoon by announcing that he will be suiting up for UMass-Amherst in 2017.  Due to NCAA rules, the Newburyport native will have to sit out a year before hitting the ice for head coach Greg Carvel.

Good luck to Josh as he heads to a place where he will inevitably get more playing time. While there may have been an outside shot of Couturier skating for BC this year, it would have been in a reduced role and that is without considering the scholarship situation.

I don't envision BC bringing in one more player this fall as it's too late in the game to find someone that can contribute at a high level. That being said, with Scott Savage graduating next spring, the staff will need to find a replacement as the class of 2017 is stocked with 8 forwards and 0 blue liners. We shall see what the future holds.

Go Eagles

Couturier News- UPDATED*******

Update- Since last night's report by SB Nation College Hockey that Josh Couturier was transferring to UNH, I have learned that this is NOT the case- he is not going there. The belief is that the Newburyport native is still looking to transfer but again, the report that he is headed to New Hampshire is false.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mike Campoli Injured at Sabres Camp

Things turned scary this afternoon at Buffalo Sabres' development camp as incoming freshman Michael Campoli was the victim of an awkward hit. The initial reports were chilling as beat writers posted pictures of Campoli being carted off by a medical team but since then, the Quebec native has left the hospital and seems to be feeling fine. 

Despite not getting drafted, Campoli will be an integral part of BC's revamped defense this fall as he may be the only true "shut down" guy they have on the roster. While the other three freshmen defenders are known for their ability to spread the ice with speed and skill, Campoli's  style mirrors that of Steve Santini. 

Thankfully, it doesn't appear as if this incident will hamper his ability to get going in September. 

Go Eagles 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sanford Gone

The Washington Capitals confirmed this afternoon that sophomore forward Zach Sanford has signed with the team, becoming the seventh Eagle to leave early this offseason.

First of all, congratulations to Zach and his family- I know that he will continue to work hard and do all he can to become an every day NHL player next October. He would not have signed unless Washington promised him a long look at camp and from what I have heard, GM Brian MacLellan believes the Salem, Massachusetts native has a shot at making the big squad right out of camp.

For BC, this is obviously a huge blow. Twitter and the message boards will go on and on about how BC should no longer recruit "mercenaries" and how no one is "loyal" to Coach York. I don't believe much of that. After what happened with Jimmy Vesey, NHL teams don't want their draftees to enter the final year before free agency because they run the obvious risk of losing some assets. Sanford, although a sophomore, was drafted in the same year as Miles Wood, Steve Santini, and Ian McCoshen- all of whom signed early as well. Next year is going to consist of some growing pains, especially if Colin White exits but if he stays, at least BC will be able to depend on two of the top playmakers in college hockey- White and Ryan Fitzgerald. If some of the younger guys can hit their stride by February and March, who knows what this team is capable of. The talent level may not be where it was this past season but one thing I have learned throughout my time following Eagle hockey is that Coach York and his staff will find a way to get them playing at a high level. They may not be the most talented maroon and gold squad ever to hit the ice, but I know they'll surprise people.

Go Eagles 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Staff Picks Up First 2002 Commit

 Defenseman Stephen Davis out of Hingham became the first 2002 birthdate to commit to BC yesterday afternoon. As you might expect, there is not much information floating around the internet with regards to fourteen year old hockey players but Davis is considered the type of skater that could develop into a star down the road. When recruiting this level, the staff isn't looking at where players are at now as much as they are trying to project where the prospects will be three years down the road. According to those who have seen have him play, Davis is a good sized defenseman with high end speed. Last summer, the US Hockey Report scouted Davis at Harvard's prospect camp and wrote that he "has size and the requisite tools, it will be interesting to see how he develops."

SB Nation College Hockey's Jeff Cox spoke to Davis' junior coach and former Maine Black Bear, Tim Lovell, who described the 02 as a kid he expects to morph into a top end NCAA and NHL prospect down the road. Lovell added that Davis, "sees the ice well, is great defensively, and has improved in the puck handling department."

I don't believe any coaches in college hockey actually want to begin recruiting kids at this age but as soon as one program does it, the others will begin to follow in fear of falling behind. Teams such as Vermont and Notre Dame got the ball rolling so expect BC to try and put an emphasis on securing a couple of verbal commitments from the 01 and 02 age groups before summer comes to a close.

Go Eagles

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Eagles at NHL Development Camps

It's that time of year again as a bevy of Eagles are dispersing all around the country to their respective NHL development camps. Here is the current list-

Chris Calnan- Chicago

Chris Brown- Buffalo

Mike Campoli (free agent)- Buffalo

Casey Fitzgerald- Buffalo

Colin White- Ottawa

Zach Sanford- Washington

Ryan Fitzgerald- Boston

David Cotton- Carolina

Zach Walker (free agent)- Nashville

Joseph Woll- Toronto

Joey Dudek- New Jersey

Scott Savage (free agent)- New Jersey

Luke McInnis (free agent)- New Jersey

Chris Shero (free agent)- New Jersey

Austin Cangelosi (free agent)- New Jersey

Good luck to all of those guys- the season is just around the corner.

Go Eagles