October 17, 2013 by conteconfidential
If the Eagles are to continue the trend of championship success in even-numbered years, the team must get significant contributions from each class on the roster. Conte Confidential gives you two key players from each class to keep an eye on this season.
Let’s start with the seniors, who are old enough to say they played alongside BC legends John Muse and Cam Atkinson. These seniors have won a National Championship, captured two Hockey East Championships, and raised three Beanpots.
Kevin Hayes, C – After a rough 2012-13 season with off-ice issues and myriad surgeries, Hayes returns as BC’s top power forward. His size and experience make him dangerous around the net, and he will play a crucial role on the top power play unit. Look for Hayes to be in the top three point getters this season.
Pat Brown, C – As captain, Brown is consistently the hardest working player on the ice, and he usually wins battles along the boards with his tremendous compete level. His leadership and work ethic will likely rub off on the new comers, and that will be a good thing.
Now we look at the juniors. This class boasts BC’s most dynamic player and plenty of role-playing forwards but oddly enough does not have any blueliners. They have experienced two seasons on the Heights, with great personal achievement but mixed team results.
Johnny Gaudreau, LW – “Johnny Hockey” led the nation in points-per-game last season (1.46) and is the true definition of a game breaker. It might be his final season in an Eagles uniform, and he will show his stuff in the offensive zone, be a shorthanded threat, and pick pocket opponents in the neutral zone. If the Eagles win trophies, Gaudreau will be a part of it, and be a Hobey Baker front runner once again.
Quinn Smith, LW – On the 2012 championship team, Smith played a pivotal role on the fourth line that was basically deployed to just check the other team until they were tired. Then, the speedy Smith grew his game and scored eight goals as a sophomore. Look for him to bring high energy on the third line with Brown this season and to continue contributing offensively.
Captain Pat Brown will be a key penalty killer and faceoff man for the new-look Eagles this year (photo credit: Ian Kates)
In their first season, the sophomore class experienced a year largely overshadowed by storylines of a championship hangover, defensive breakdown, injuries, and Jerry York’s record-breaking wins as a college hockey coach. The players in this class are mostly unproven, and must mature quickly.
Mike Matheson, D – As a freshman, Matheson was BC’s most dynamic defenseman. He skates very well, especially with the puck, and has a dangerous shot from the point. He isn’t afraid to jump into the play and make things happen, but he also must be more consistent in all areas of the rink.
Brendan Silk, RW – Beyond Matheson, this class has yet to really make an impact. Look for Silk to do so. He’s got good straightaway speed and decent size to fill checking roles. He will see time on the fourth line and could make it a threat on the forecheck.
The freshman class seems to be the most anticipated in recent memory, and for good reason. This group of 10 has already had measurable success in junior and international hockey already. There is plenty of raw talent, and it’s been integrated into the lineup already through two games.
Ian McCoshen, D – To be sure, the large freshmen class has several super-skilled forwards worth watching like Austin Cangelosi, Ryan Fitzgerald, Adam Gilmour and Chris Calnan to name a few. But McCoshen might have the biggest impact. Last season, the defense was riddled with injuries and couldn’t get the puck to the forwards. McCoshen will, and he is big, fast and plays with an edge. He’s paired with Matheson to start the year, giving BC a tremendously skilled top defensive pairing.
Thatcher Demko, G – As a highly touted recruit with impressive numbers for the U.S. National Team Development Program’s Under-18 team, he’s the wild card to success this season. At 6-foot-3, he covers a large part of the net, but is still quick in the crease. He has the ability to achieve great things in the cage as a freshman like Muse did six seasons ago.
By Peter Rothmeier