Wednesday, August 26, 2015

BC Picks Up First 2001 Prospect

BC continued to load up on recruits for a couple years down the road as 6'2 goalie Spencer Knight Mid-Fairfield Rangers) pledged for the fall of 2019. Of course, the year of arrival is always subject to change but USHR described Knight as the "best 13 (now 14) year old goalie we have seen in a couple of years" in November. According to reports, Knight was tremendous at the Harvard Showcase last weekend and was a highly sought after recruit.

Of course, no one can project what will happen in four years time but right now, it seems that BC has their goaltending situation set in stone for the next five or six years. Demko is obviously the go to guy this season, Woll will fill his shoes for the next three or four years, and then Knight will take the reigns. The question of whether or not the staff should be recruiting kids this young is something that is totally out of their control. The way the recruiting game is set up these days, they have to start getting these kids before they verbal to other institutions.

No matter what anyone thinks of the age issue, there is no denying that BC got themselves a heck of a goaltender this afternoon.

Go Eagles !



Friday, August 21, 2015

Wahlstrom to Harvard

BC's top recruiting target, 2000 forward Oliver Wahlstrom,  committed to Harvard last night. Wahlstrom is the last of the "big three" 2000 Massachusetts forwards to commit, TJ Walsh gave his verbal to BC, Wahlstrom is of course going to Harvard, and Central Catholic's Jake Wise is headed to arch rival Boston University.

First of all, things can change between now and the fall of 2018 when Wahlstrom is set to arrive in Cambridge so there is a chance that he never even ends up there. However, it's a tough loss for BC especially considering how hard they recruited the Maine native. In fact, the night before his commitment, the staff was watching him compete in the Foxboro Summer League championship at Foxboro Sports Center. It certainly stings missing out any recruit but I guess losing to Harvard isn't as bad as BU. The Crimson have now snagged the #1 forward and #1 defenseman (Bode Wilde) for the class of 2000.

Tough loss but I'm confident the staff will rebound with a big get in the coming weeks.

Go Eagles

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Push For a New Rink

As Boston College alumni, students, employees, and fans, we are very fortunate to have some sort of connection to a place that is dear to our hearts. BC people believe that there is no better place in the world than Boston College and the transformation of the university over the past 30 years has been truly special. While the emergence of Doug Flutie led the football program and eventually the school as a whole to unbelievable heights, Coach York's arrival in 1994 and subsequent success has revamped the Boston College hockey program and made it the best in college hockey. When Coach York arrived, although the program was in dire straights, he had some things to work with, among those were BC's academic excellence, location, picturesque campus, and a rink that was perhaps the best college arena in the country at the time. Ever since then, BC's status among national universities has only grown and the hockey program has reached unparalleled heights, however, one thing has drastically changed the way some recruits look at BC.....it's rink.

When we take a look at BC's main competitors when it comes to recruiting, the top five schools that stand out are arch rival Boston University, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, and Harvard. Every single one of those schools has put millions of dollars into their hockey facilities  over the past 15 + years, resulting in state of the art rinks that simply blow Kelley Rink out of the water. In today's age, kids, whether you like it or not, care as much about the facilities and "it" factors of programs than they do about the academic reputation of the school. Even if you look at programs outside of those five I mentioned above, schools like Providence, Nebraska Omaha, and RIT, all smaller schools with less than money than BC, have seen terrific results ever since they pumped some amount of money into their hockey program, whether it be to update their current rink (PC) or build a new one (RIT, UNO). Let me be clear here, I am in no way saying that the BC athletic department doesn't do enough for the hockey program because the program wouldn't be where it is today with the support of Father Leahy, current athletic director Brad Bates, and formed AD Gene DeFilippo. However, I believe that in order to stay at the top of college hockey, BC is going to need to have a serious discussion about upgrading their hockey facilities in order to attract the very best recruits.

Here are the results of my research...I should note that I had a hard time finding the cost of Schneider Arena (PC) but 5 million was the most common results.
























If you pay attention to the sport, you would know that every single one of those programs has had an some amount of success ever since they made a commitment to upgrading their hockey facilities.  After looking at these numbers, we are left with a couple of questions regarding BC and their quest to update Kelley Rink, let's take a look.

1. How much would BC be willing to take out of the endowment (2.2 billion) in order to pay for a new rink or an upgrade?

I don't think BC is going to take much money out of bank account in order to build a new hockey rink. If they were ever going to pull through on the project, it would require one or more donors to make it their projects but the more the university can put up, the more donors that would probably be willing to come forward.

2. Where would they put a new rink?

First of all, I don't like the idea of knocking down Kelley Rink and building one right on top of where it is. They tried that in the late 80's and it was just a disaster having to play at other teams' rinks. I don't know the exact measurements of the land but BC bought a nice chunk right across the street on the Brighton campus. If you drive by there, you will notice a pretty substantial area of grass but truth be told, I don't know if it would be big enough to hold a rink. I think the best idea is to put it where the Plex currently sits. As you probably know, they're knocking that down and building a new one but why not do what BU did (I don't like saying that) and build a rink in conjunction with a student center? That would be my vote.

3. What design would best fit BC?

We can't have a rink like North Dakota or Minnesota because we simply wouldn't fit as many people as they can. The new arena would need to be more modern, with seats closer to the action and preferably not made of plastic. Why not build something like Agganis? Heck, why not make an exact replica of it? We win every time we play there.

4. What would they name it?

York Arena. Nothing else needs to be considered.

5. Is there any chance this happens?

In the next five years? No. In the next 10? Yes.

Go Eagles !



Friday, August 14, 2015

Krys To BU

One of the top uncommitted defensemen in the country, Chad Krys, committed to Boston University this afternoon. Yes, BC was in on Krys but there was little to no chance he was going to end up in Chestnut Hill because his father, Mark, was a Terrier captain in the late 80's.Once again, I've been swamped with tweets and emails about BC's recruiting, especially when it comes to defensemen, but in reality, there isn't any reason for panic. Yes, BU has an absolutely stacked set of defensemen and forwards coming in two years but BC will counter that with a loaded forward group over the course of the next couple seasons (assuming some guys stay). Sure, losing any recruit to BU stings but if the staff could go out and land top Canadian recruit Dante Fabbro, then they are set on defense for the next couple season. While they may not be the top end NHL prospects that Krys, McAvoy, and Farrance are, the guys that BC has brought in will be very solid four year guys but now the task is to match them with two/three year NHL studs.

No reason for anybody to worry about the recruiting, they're going to be fine. I mean, if you're actually feeling uneasy, just look at the projected lineup for this season and then you'll sleep fine. 

Go Eagles 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Staff Picks Up Second 2000 Recruit

The summer of good news continued this afternoon as the staff received a commitment from one of the country's top 2000's, Patrick Giles. The 6'3 power forward out of Maryland recorded 42 points in 22 games played for the Richmond Generals a season ago. USHR named him one of the top players at the Northern Cyclone Showcase earlier this year, saying "at 6'3 he is a force and is very difficult for defenders to contain. Uses his frame well to protect the puck and has a nice stride for someone who has grown so much in such a short time"

Don't look now but BC's team a couple years down the road with Giles, TJ Walsh, Jake Tortora, and perhaps Oliver Wahlstrom could be one of the more talented Eagle squads we've seen....after this year of course. 

Nice job by the staff....Go Eagles! 


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Updates

Ever since the whole Bracco fiasco a couple weeks back, everything has been quiet on the BC Hockey front. The staff joined a tremendous gathering of former players on Monday for the annual Pikes Peak golf outing at Walpole Country Club. Close to 50 former Eagles showed up to display their support for Coach York and the program. I think it says a lot about the culture he has created in his hockey program when guys who are making millions of dollars a year and are living, in some cases, a long ways from Chestnut Hill, come back to participate in a golf outing. When it was all said and done, Mike Ewanowski (81), Paul Marshall (89), Mike Mullowney (89), and Coach Brown (90)  took home the hardware. Props to Pikes Peak for throwing what was another fantastic event.

World Jr Evaluation camp continues throughout this week in Lake Placid as the first round of cuts were made yesterday, all four Eagles are still in contention to make the final roster. There was a bit of bad news as sophomore Alex Tuch was injured in an exhibition game and was told to sit out the rest of camp as he nurses a minor knee injury. At his media session shortly after the game, Tuch said "I am rehabbing here and hopefully I feel better by the end of the week".

If you had told everyone in Hockey East that a major recruit would be leaving Comm Ave over the summer, over 95% of them would have assumed it was Jeremy Bracco bolting for the OHL. In an amazing turn of events, BU's top incoming recruit, Russian Maxim Letunov, was denied admissions to the school because of a technicality and will instead head to UConn. First of all, what a get for Coach Cav and his crew, by far and away the biggest recruit he has landed during his short time in Storrs. If Letunov is granted eligibility for this season (which is still up in the air), the Huskies could be a formidable opponent next fall for the rest of the conference. As for the Terriers, it is certainly a blow to their already thin forward group but with their defense and coaching staff, I'm sure they will be in the hunt come next spring.

On the recruiting trail, the only thing I have to report is that I'm hearing BC is one of the top front runners for star 2000 forward Oliver Wahlstrom, a former Maine commit. I think the decision will take some time but there is certainly a good chance BC is able to land the top uncommitted player in the country. Can you imagine a team with Wahlstom, TJ Walsh, and Jacob Tortora? Maybe not as good as this year's squad but pretty darn good!

Last major of the year next week, come on Phil!

Go Eagles


Sunday, August 2, 2015

World Jr Evaluation Camp Underway

Over the course of the next seven days, 39 guys will compete for a chance to make the first cut of the US World Jr team, including 4 current/former Eagles. Representing the current Eagle squad are forwards Jeremy Bracco, Alex Tuch, and Colin White. Noah Hanifin is expected to lead the team's defensive core. Last year, Tuch and Hanifin joined Miles Wood, Ian McCoshen, and Thatcher Demko for one of hockey's best annual tournaments but unfortunately, the US bowed out early. Of course, Tuch and Hanifin are shoe-ins to play again this year but I think there is a high possibility of Bracco and White joining them in December. In fact, Bracco was the last cut a year ago while White did not try out due to injuries.

As expected, Bracco was asked about his plans for next year immediately after he was made available to the media and his response was as solid as BC fans could have hoped for-














It was already set in stone but the more assurance the better, especially after last summer.

Good luck to Noah, Alex, Jeremy, and Colin this week.

Go Eagles