The Boston College men’s hockey team kicks off its season this Saturday at home against the University of New Brunswick. The Eagles are expected to have a bounce back season following a disappointing 2018-19 season in which they finished seventh in the Hockey East standings. They open the year as the coaches’ poll favorite to win the conference for the second consecutive season, and are ranked eleventh in NCAA’s preseason rankings.
Despite finishing a subpar 14-22-3 last season, the Eagles will look to build upon an inspired Hockey East tournament run in which they defeated top-seeded UMass and second-seeded Providence en route to a 3-2 loss in the conference championship to Northeastern.
BC returns its top three scorers from last year, David Cotton, Logan Hutsko, and Julius Mattila. Although the team maintained much of its talent, it also endured a few important losses. The three team captains, Christopher Brown, Michael Kim, and Casey Fitzgerald, who finished fourth, fifth, and sixth in points, respectively, graduated.
Fitzgerald and Kim had been staples of the back end for the last four seasons and their presence and leadership will be missed amongst a young defensive unit.
The uber-talented freshman Oliver Wahlstrom has also moved on from the team, joining the New York Islanders AHL affiliate. Wahlstrom was a highly touted recruit following the 2018 NHL draft in which he was the eleventh overall pick, but underwhelmed in his one season on the Heights.
Possibly the biggest loss of all was goalie Joe Woll, who signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the week following the Hockey East tournament loss. Woll started during all three of his years on campus, earning third-team Hockey East All-Star honors in 2017-18.
The Eagles will look to offset these losses with one of their most talented classes ever. BC brought in a school-record three first-round draft picks in this year’s recruiting class alone. Forward Matthew Boldy, goalie Spencer Knight, and forward Alex Newhook were drafted 12th, 13th, and 16th respectively in the 2019 NHL draft.
The Eagles will be led by senior captain David Cotton and senior alternate captain Graham McPhee. Jerry York will return for his 26th season as head coach.
BC will open their Hockey East schedule with an Oct. 25 matchup at Kelley Rink against seventh-ranked Providence.
The schedule also features early season games against top 10 opponents in second-ranked Denver, fourth-ranked UMass, and ninth-ranked Wisconsin.
The highly-anticipated Beanpot will get underway on Feb. 3, as the Eagles take on Boston University, before facing either Northeastern or Harvard on the ensuing Monday. The team will look to win their first Beanpot tournament since 2016.
BC will close out its regular season at New Hampshire on March 7 before the Hockey East tournament gets underway on March 13.
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