By: Marisa Ingemi
Whenever a team has five NHL first round draft picks, there’s clearly a lot of talent. Of course, that is just one team, Boston University, in the four-team Beanpot that might have the most talented group of young players yet.
With 36 combined NHL prospects on the rosters, the 2017 Beanpot might be the most talent-filled yet. The Terriers lead with 11 players who have been drafted to go pro, Boston College is next with nine, and Northeastern and Harvard are tied with eight each.
On top of the obvious drafted talent, goalie Jake Oettinger of BU is likely to be drafted this coming June, but was too young to be eligible this past season.
Of course, talent can only be determined relatively, as we really don’t know how these players will turn out in their pro careers. Current NHL super stars Jack Eichel and Johnny Gaudreau are two of the most talented players in the pro-ranks and played in the Beanpot back-to-back seasons.
It’s hard to determine who the best player to ever play in the tournament is, given the talent that has come out of all four teams. MVPs to come from the Beanpot include Kevin Hayes (BC), Chris Kreider (BC), Nick Bonino (BU), Rick DiPietro (BU), Chris Drury (BU), Tony Amonte (BU), Bob Sweeney (BC), Jack O’Callahan (BU), amongst many others.
Historically, it has been a BC-BU rivalry stage, with the Eagles and Terriers finding the most success. This season, Harvard, in their first championship contest since the 2007 season, have one of the better rosters.
Alexander Kerfoot is a prospect with the New Jersey Devils, and scored an important goal against Northeastern in the first round, and is in the top 25 scoring leaders in the NCAA. Sean Malone was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres; Tyler Moy (Nashville) and Adam Fox (Calgary) are also prospects.
Merrick Madsen is one of just two goalies in the tournament selected by an NHL team so far, and he is a Philadelphia Flyers prospect.
Meanwhile, the Huskies have had their struggles this season, but Zach Aston-Reese is tied for second in the nation in scoring while his team mat Dylan Sikura is fourth with one point less at 46.
Overall, there’s a lot of talent in this year’s Beanpot, and it’s a lot more diverse than it may have been in year’s past because Harvard and Northeastern are starting to develop more NHL-worthy players themselves.