Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Waiting Games

Let me start this post with being completely honest with you. I am really, really, worried about what could possibly take place this season for our club. Everyone wants to talk about our superb D and solid goaltending but if you look at our past three National Title teams, those clubs won on offense, each of which had three lines that could score at any time and a fourth line that could shut down another team's first line at certain junctures of a game. Frankly, I don't see that with this team, as of now.  Last season, the Eagles had 27 players on the roster and for the first time in a long time, they had to cut a guy (Sullivan) before the season started. As of today, BC has just 22 total skaters (including goalies). That is as shallow a roster we have ever had.

The position that I am most concerned about is the wing, both wings. On the left side we have Fitzgerald, Smith(can play both), Straight, Gaudreau, and Cam Spiro. On the right side, we have Chris Calnan, Austin Cangelosi, Brendan Silk, and Smith. Not very deep, especially on the left side. Milano was projected to be a first or second line left winger but that spot has since been vacated. What is the best case scenario for filling that hole? Of course, it would be Miles Wood but I don't think the chances of the staff bringing him in are very high, even though they can say with absolute certainty that he will play a lot of minutes both even strength and power play. The other, more likely, option is that they bring in Joey Dudek from Dubuque. Unlike Wood, Dudek was a senior this year @ Kimball Union and he graduated with the necessary credits needed to get into BC. While bringing in Wood would help the team more, Dudek would fill in just fine on the third or fourth line. Who is the better hockey player right now? Wood. Who has the actual credits to get into school right away? Dudek. The bottom line is that the staff has to find a way to get at least of these guys on campus this fall.

The other option they have is one that is more risky and far less likely to happen. They, hypothetically, could try and find a way to get Colin White to accelerate but he, like Noah Hanifin, would be a kid playing against guys that are six or years his senior. Why would I say bringing in a kid like White is so risky? It isn't because he isn't skilled because he is the best forward prospect they have in the pipeline, it's because playing for the USNTDP for one more year could give him the experience he needs to become the best freshman in college hockey when the 2015-16 season begins. If they brought him in this year, he could become a top four or five guy by midseason but I don't know if it is worth taking away one more, very important season of development against elite competition. His teammate, Jeremy Bracco, is another option but he isn't quiet as physically "gifted" as White is. Bracco needs another season to get bigger, faster, and stronger. Another issue with him is that he could be a very real possibility to bolt to the CHL.

I would expect that in the next couple of days, possibly by this weekend, the staff will announce that they're bringing in Joey Dudek for next season. It makes the most sense. He graduated from high school, he can play both wing and center, he is very close to being "Hockey East ready", and he has more skill than any of BC's bottom six guys currently have.

Here are my updated percentage odds to come next year-

Dudek- 95%

Wood- 40%

White/Bracco- Under 10% (a miracle would need to happen)

1 comment:

  1. Issue with holding off on White just to get more development in the USNTDP is that IF he becomes a top 5 pick, there's a good chance he never comes anyways. Plenty of top 5 picks that play forward have realistic opportunities to make the NHL squad.

    That being said, whatever is best for a player's development trumps fans' desires.