Monday, August 25, 2014

A Local Recruiting Problem

Craig Janney, Brian Leetch, Mike Mullowney (had to), Brian Boyle, Greg Brown,Marty McInnis, and Mike Mottau, what do these names all have in common? They're are all BC legends that played in the Independent School League (or another New England Prep league) before arriving and succeeding @ BC. The question is, what happened? So much of our dominance in the mid 2000's through today has been because of Massachusetts born kids, some that didn't even play in the ISL. Schneider, Hayes, Arnold, Gibbons, and Whitney(s), but certainly without a doubt, one can say that BC's dominant product led by Massachusetts kids could soon be coming to an end. Are my saying BC Hockey is going down the drains? Haha no, I am not. I am saying that in order for the Eagles to be as good as they're capable of year in and year out, the staff may need to make stronger recruiting efforts in Michigan, Minnesota, and New York (a place where they have already been great).

Over the next couple of years, the Eagles have recruits coming in from these various states.

Massachusetts- Hanifin (left after sophomore year), White (left after sophomore year), Wood (3, maybe 4, years), Casey Fitzgerald (left Mass after sophomore year for NTDP), David Cotton (entering sophomore year @ Cushing), Connor Moore (entering sophomore year @ Brooks, didn't make USHL team), Luke McInnis (entering sophomore year @ Dexter, transfer from Hingham).

New Hampshire- Dudek (Coming this year, I believe), Sanford (here now, finished high school career in USHL)

New York- Tuch (here now), Bracco (left after his freshman year of high school for NTDP)

Pennsylvania- Chris Shero (graduated from a New England prep school, playing in EJHL)

Washington DC- Graham McPhee (Playing for NTDP this year after playing for Shattuck U16's

Idaho- Zachary Walker (played for Colorado Thunderbirds, will play for NTDP this year)

Michigan- Chris Brown (Played in Michigan high school leagues, will play USHL jr and sr years)

Minnesota- Nothing

The most important thing to take out of all that information is we have just ONE guy coming from Minnesota and Michigan, COMBINED. Look, I love the ISL and Mass high school leagues more than anyone but I'll be the first to admit that there are maybe three kids in the ISL that are good enough to play @ BC right now and one or two guys that are good enough to be @ BC right now from the MIAA.

As of now, Massachusetts hockey is still producing high quality players but it's concerning that the high quality players are not staying in Massachusetts which only means that there is a huge difference between the high end players (Wood, White, Eichel, etc) and the average players you find in the ISL or MIAA. To me, it is very disturbing to see the quality of hockey in the Mass high school leagues go down so much because for so many years, BC could just pluck kids right of the ISL in their junior or senior year. Now, the staff has to offer a kid that is a star in the ISL as a freshman but since the league is so down, who knows what he will do when he plays in the USHL or the NTDP?

Everyone (including this guy) likes to tall about how college hockey recruiting is changing because of age, which it is, but in this state, it appears to me that a large majority of elite players go to other leagues and fade away, mainly because the competition they played against in Mass is slipping tremendously. Look, the Woods, Eichels, and Hanifins of the world are going to be good no matter who they play against because those are the type of kids that have the skill and size to play versus the best high schoolers in the United States. It's about those third and fourth line guys that I am worried about. Obviously, our bottom six forwards have been a bit of a weakness since the National Championship in 2012 and I believe it's because the staff is having such a hard time finding guys in this area that are going to stay three or four years, will play third or fourth line and block shots, kill penalties, play solid defense vs another team's first line, etc.

We need to find a way to bring in more Barry Almeida's, Matt Lombardi's, Paul Carey's, Pat Mullane's, guys that come in here as fourth line guys, from this area, and will eventually work there way up and become high quality players and leaders by their junior and senior years.

Look, BC obviously a public university like the University of Minnesota or the University of Michigan, but BC Hockey (and admittedly BU Hockey) have inspired kids all throughout Massachusetts and New England to work towards one day wearing the maroon and gold or, if worst comes to worst, the scarlet and white. I mean, it seems that David Quinn and his staff have picked up a lot more Mass kids (Coughlin, Carpenter, Greer, Difley, Macleod) than we have. Obviously, the staff can't recruit Mass kids if the quality of play in the state does not go up but hopefully in the future, we will see more guys in the maroon and gold from Massachusetts than from California or Idaho.

Go Eagles.

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