Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Player Development

Tonight, I wanted to talk about an aspect of this team I feel has gone under the radar given BC is in the Frozen Four seemingly every other year and people figure that is only because they recruit as well as anyone. I'm not going to sit here and deny that the staff has brought in some extraordinary talent over the past three years. Boston College is a special institution that will always attract hockey players from around world. However, when you're a program like BC, people don't tend to focus on player development because there is an assumption that everyone is a superstar and there is little the coaches can do to further specific aspects of an individual's game.

After the 2015 season, some in the college hockey world (even BC fans) questioned whether or not players were improving at an expected rate. Some BU people went out of their way to say that if you come to BC, you will actually get worse as a player- considering there are more Eagles in the NHL than Terriers, that seems like an erroneous argument to make. Here is an article from my good friends down the street where they rip BC while also predicting that the Eagles would not have any success in March- how did BU do on Saturday? 

Anyway, I am not trying to make this a BC-BU thing- I want to discuss how well the staff has developed nearly every player on this roster. There are certainly reasons for this other than their development model- BC had a softer schedule (particularly early in the year) compared to 2015 and the infusion of players like Miles Wood, Colin White, and Casey Fitzgerald helped raise the bar all around the lineup.

Warning- If you read this blog, you know that I want absolutely nothing to do with math- I'm awful at it. However, we should dive deeper into these statistics and you have any problems, don't be afraid to shoot me an email. 

After calculating these numbers, I discovered that BC's average points per game among players on last year's squad (not counting those who left) was 0.48. I then did the same for this season and found it was 0.69 (again, only guys that were on the 2015 and 2016 squads). I'm not saying one year makes all the difference- this club is much better than last year's. My point is that calling out the staff for their "inability to develop players" after one down season is downright ridiculous. No school sends more kids to the NHL than BC does and if you think it's only because of recruiting, tell that to Ben Smith, Nathan Gerbe, Peter Harrold, Stephen Gionta, Cam Atkinson, or Brian Gibbons. All of these guys were either undrafted or picked up in the later rounds. They would not be in the NHL if it weren't for Coaches York, Brown, Ayers, and Cavanaugh. 

Enough math. Onto the Frozen Four. 

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