Before I get to the lineup, there a few minimal notes we should touch upon.
It appears the staff is done looking for another forward to join the roster next season, which is the primary reason I am doing my first lineup preview tonight. The Wood ship sailed long ago but they made a couple of other attempts on other guys but because of the timing and the fact they couldn't get anyone they thought really fit the system, they're going to go with what they got and that isn't half bad. There's always that slight chance things change but it doesn't look good.
Speaking of Miles Wood, he will play for the South Shore Kings half season team next fall before taking the ice for Nobles.
The schedule is pretty much set in stone, we are just waiting on two games vs UMass-Amherst. I think the Minutemen could possibly be BC's home opener either Saturday October 11th but that remains a question mark. As for when we travel out to Amherst, possibly the very next weekend, Saturday the 25th after we host Colorado College on Friday the 24th. Hopefully that will be figured out soon.
Not much to report on the recruiting trail. They're still awaiting word on Krys but who knows when that will be. 2016 recruit David Cotton participated in the Beantown Classic in Marlborough this week, not a real inspiring performance from his team tonight, they got smoked like 5-1, Cotton seemed to struggle for large portions of the game but it could just be fatigue.
Anyways, here is my first lineup projection of the year because when I walked into Kelly Rink today, the ice was down and almost fainted. I'll try and do a couple others before the season starts.
Ryan Fitzgerald- Adam Gilmour- Chris Calnan
I thought Ryan and Adam played really well towards the end of last season, as Fitzgerald was without a doubt BC's best player in the Frozen Four game vs Union (besides the penalty). If they continue to progress like they have been, then they'll be two consistent players this year. I would expect that they also both play first power play unit. Calnan is the one question mark. He struggled for the first three quarters of last winter but like the other two, he became more of a factor out there as the year grew older. The issue for me is whether or not he is ready to become a first line guy that can put points on the board. Sure, he can be the meat and potatoes guy on this line but he also has to find a way to put the puck in the net.
Sonny Milano- Alex Tuch- Austin Cangelosi
This line has the potential to be really special by Beanpot time (if they're even a line). The staff has big expectations for Austin Cangelosi this season, they think he could be the team's best offensive player and one of the top point getters in the league. He certainly showed his value in some big games (Beanpot final) last season. Obviously, everyone has some expectations for the two incoming first round picks but I think we need to separate them a little bit because they're different players. Milano, if the right pieces fall into place, could be the most talented freshman of the Coach York era besides some guy from New Jersey but Tuch is a bit of a different animal. He is a really big, a good skater for his size, and has a booming shot. They went together really well in Ann Arbor so I think the staff should at least give them a shot at playing together from the get-go in Chestnut Hill.
Matty Gaudreau-Zach Sanford-Brendan Silk
Now that I think about it, pretty much every freshman got better as the season went on, including Matty Gaudreau who I also thought was solid in the NCAA tournament. I don't see any reason why he should be benched behind any of the four senior forwards. Brendan Silk was the most improved player on the team from 2013 to 2014 and hopefully he continue to be somewhat of a physical presence out there. Sanford is the big key for me when it comes to this line. Personally, I have never seen him play but the scouts say he is a big forward (6'3), that has a knack for moving the puck. He was a second round draft pick of the Washington Capitals so he must be pretty darn good. He is, by far, the most underrated prospect in the incoming class.
Quinn Smith- Mike Sit- Danny Linell
For a fourth line, I don't think they're all that bad but that's only assuming they find a way to take their games up a notch. Look, I'm certainly not one to sit here and talk about their performance on the ice but I think everyone expects a little more from these guys. It seems to me that Smith and Sit are out there every shift battling but they just never seem to put the puck in the net. Ever. This is BC. We don't bring guys in to dump pucks in the zone and stand around. They're expected to contribute to the scoresheet. They have got to find a way to play some good hockey this season. They have to.
Defense (it's scary good)
Mike Matheson- Scott Savage
I'm a big fan of these two players. Coaches are not allowed to have favorites. Bloggers are. I think both of these guys have tremendous upsides in the offensive end and because of our depth @ D, they don't need to be out there with a minute left in a game in which we're up a goal. Mike Matheson is coming back with a C on his shoulder. You don't just get named the captain @ BC and you're expected to be one of the outstanding leaders and in Mike's case, one of the outstanding players in all of college hockey. Really high expectations for these two.
Ian McCoshen- Noah Hanifin
Talk about Eichel all you want. He may be the next Mike Modano. He may be the next Patrick Kane. I don't know. But I am telling you this right now, Noah Hanifin has a chance to be one of the top defenseman in the NHL four or five years from now. If I could put together a perfect defenseman, he would be big in size, an obvious ability to take the puck end to end with a fluent skating motion, has keen awareness in his own end, and a booming shot. Ever watch Nick Lidstrom play? Yea, this kid reminds me of him. I think by the end of the season, he will be the most valuable player on our team outside of maybe Demko. As for McCoshen, he just has to find a way to stay healthy. He is great in his own end, isn't a stiff when it comes to offensive zone, and has perhaps the best shot on the team. When Eichel is on the ice, I want McCoshen, and of course Santini, out against him. That should be the shutdown pair.
Steve Santini- Teddy Doherty
Remember the 2013 NCAA playoffs when we had Colin Sullivan playing forward and played like four defenseman the whole entire game? Things have changed in a big way. While Teddy Doherty might be the least heralded out of these six guys, he has clearly proven his worth over the course of his first two years here. Yes, he struggles in his own end and has a weak shot but I love the way he skates, moves the puck up the ice and finds the open man. His "risky" style of play fits perfectly with the best defensive defenseman BC has had since Andrew Alberts, Steve Santini. I mean if I'm coaching against the Pittsburgh Penguins and I'm the Bruins, screw Chara and Boychuck, I want Santini out there (remember, Pens fan here). I was talking to a team member a few weeks back and asked how the heck we were going to stop Eichel, he replied "we can only do one thing, put Santini out there". What a battle that will be.
Goalie- obviously Demko.
Anyways, that sucked the wind out of me. Enjoy. Have a good night.