Photos courtesy of Eeli Tolvanen and Michael Karow

BC Hockey's Next Era: 2017 Incoming Recruits

Men’s Hockey saw a decline in performance this year as they failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009. Losing five seniors and Colin White (MCAS ’19) to the NHL may hurt the team even more, but it will open up opportunities for younger players to rise up and play key minutes.

Take a look at the incoming class of recruits for the 2017-2018 season:

Eeli Tolvanen LW | 5’10” – 179 lbs | Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)

Currently ranked 8th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, Tolvanen will bring much-needed scoring prowess for the Eagles. The speedy Finnish sniper registered 47-45 in 101 games the past two seasons for the Musketeers and helped the team claim the 2016-2017 Anderson Cup, given to the team with the best regular season record. Tolvanen may not be a desirable size, but he makes up for it with high hockey IQ, good skating abilities, and a deadly shot.

Aapeli Räsänen C | 6’0” – 196 lbs | Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)

Born in the same town of Tampere, Finland as current Eagles Jesper Mattila (CSOM ’20) and Julius Mattila (CSOM ’20), Räsänen is a solid two-way center with great puck-handling skills. Räsänen registered 7-18 in 38 games in his rookie season with the Musketeers. Already drafted #153 overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2016 NHL Draft, Räsänen has shown signs of NHL-readiness and may be utilized as a top two center for the Eagles.

Michael Karow D | 6’2” – 194 lbs | Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)

Karow is the only incoming defenseman for the Eagles and will have a great shot at the 3rd defensive pair as the Eagles only have six defensemen on the roster with the departure of Scott Savage (MCAS ’17). The Green Bay, Wisconsin native has good size and great passing abilities as he registered 4-17 in 58 games for the Phantoms in his rookie season. Currently ranked #109 among NA skaters by NHL Central Scouting, Karow joins former Phantoms and fellow defensemen Luke McInnis (MCAS ’20) and Connor Moore (MCAS’ 20).

Casey Carreau LW | 5’10” – 170 lbs | Thayer Academy Tigers (USHS)

Carreau is a native of Acushnet, Massachusetts and will bring offensive depth to the Eagles. Although he has not been extensively tested in a developmental league, Carreau’s performance at a notable high school hockey program, Thayer Academy, has been so impressive that he may earn a role on the Eagle’s lineup. Carreau broke out his junior year and has clocked 57-75 in 61 games his past two seasons.

Montgomery (Monte) Graham C/RW | 5’11” – 174 lbs | Tri-City Storm (USHL)

The Hanover, Massachusetts native and fellow graduate of Thayer Academy played two seasons for the Storm, registering 8-16 in 60 games in his most recent season. Graham and Carreau also played on the same junior team: Cape Cod Whalers U16. Graham helped the Storm capture the 2016 Clark Cup, given to the champions of the USHL. The gritty forward will add great energy to a very young Eagles team.

Mitchell Martan LW | 5’8” – 187 lbs | Wellington Dukes (OJHL)

Martan is the only Canadian recruit on this list, hailing from Whitby, Ontario. A tough competitor and good skater, Martan registered 3-14 in 29 games for the Dukes this season. Although his height may be lacking, Martan should make up for it with strength as he has above average weight for a forward. However, with the likes of the Gaudreau brothers and Gionta brothers (all former Eagles) in the NHL, size is not a deterring factor.

Joseph (Joey) Cassetti LW | 6’3” – 201 lbs | USA U18 (NTDP)

Cassetti, a native of Pleasanton, California, has the size and strength to potentially be a great player for the Eagles. Cassetti registered 5-2 in 43 games with the U.S. National U18 Team this season. Playing under the tutelage of Jerry York may elevate his game to the next level.

 

The Eagles may become a Finnish powerhouse this season as Tolvanen, Räsänen, and the Mattila brothers have already played together on the 2017 Finnish World Junior Hockey Championship squad. Tolvanen and Räsänen have even captured a gold medal together playing for the U18 Finnish junior team and may secure another championship this year for the Musketeers. This new wave of Eagles already has so much chemistry that they could be an unstoppable force coming into next season.

 

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