Well, the feeling of being National Champions has yet to wear off of me as it probably hasn't with any of the players either. It was certainly a great season for the program and the team sure made alums, fans, and students very proud to be associated with BC hockey. Anyway, just by looking at the roster for next year, I think the Eagles will once again be the top team in Hockey East, if not the country. Here is what we know in terms of who is leaving/who is coming back.
Chris Kreider- F
So we obviously lose some firepower up front but the big hole will be on defense. Tommy Cross and Brian Dumoulin both played huge minutes this season for the team and were a huge part of the team's success. None the less, guys like Pat Wey, Isaac Macleod, and Patch Alber will need to step up. The two big name recruits the staff has coming in next year are Mike Matheson and Travis Jeke. In order for this team to do well, both of these guys are really going to have to have big freshman years. Here is how I see the defense looking. (By ranking)
1. Pat Wey
2. Mike Matheson
3. Isaac Macleod
6. Mark Begert/Another freshman. Doherty maybe
Up front, I really like the way this team looks next year. Like always, the Eagles have a nucleus of core guys that can really create plays in the offensive zone. The big four returning next year will be Johnny Gaudreau, Pat Mullane, Steve Whitney, and Bill Arnold. These guys are going to carry the load for the Eagles on the offensive end as each one of them has the ability to score goals and make plays. In terms of freshman coming in, the big name to watch out for is Frank Vatrano out of the US Development Program. Vatrano has recorded a solid 33 points so far this season for the US Under 18 team. Look for him to be the big addition on the offensive side of the puck. There are also some guys coming back that could really shine in bigger roles. I think the fourth line of Danny Linell-Quinn Smith-Mike Sit was great this season and all three guys could be poised to have big years next year.
The best part about next year is knowing we have the best goaltender in the country returning. Going into this season we didn't know what to expect from Parker Milner but the last two months he has been unbelievable. He could be playing for the Flyers right now (I am writing this during their 10 goal game versus Pittsburgh). I think having Parker back will be huge for the Eagles next season. I mean look around Hockey East, BU loses Millan, Merrimack loses Cannata, PC loses Beaudry, and UVM loses Madore. Those are all some pretty good goalies that teams are losing.
Anyways, here is how I see the lineup looking on opening night next year. This is very early but it is a good ballpark guess.
Goalie- Parker Milner
Well, there it is, obviously that will change as we get closer to opening night but for now, I think that is a pretty reasonable guess. We could move Whitney and Linell but I like Whitney and Arnold together like they were this year. Whitney and Gaudreau would be very dangerous though.
Until next time,