As we continue to thirst for more sports during the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve put together a roster featuring the very best of Boston University Men’s Hockey from the 2010s in this edition of “Retaking the Ice.” I’ll be breaking everything down line by line, along with introducing honorable mentions at forward, defenseman and goaltender.
The line sheet features every player’s years played at BU, career points and games played, and NHL team if they’re currently playing in, or were drafted by that organization. Let’s dive right in with the honorable mentions and then the defensemen!
G: Sean Maguire (’12-14, ’15-’16)
D: (LD) Doyle Somerby (’13-’17 and ’16-’17 captain) and (RD) Adam Clendening (’10-’12)
F: (LW) Brady Tkachuk (’17-’18), (C) Charlie Coyle (’10-’12) and (RW) Matt Lane (’12-’16)
Extra Defender: Chad Krys
Krys brought elite speed and shooting to the table as a Terrier. Although he departed one year early to join the Blackhawks organization, he spent three years as a dynamic mainstay of the defense.
Defense Pair No. 3: Brandon Hickey and Cam Crotty
Crotty might not put up points like the other six defenders on the team, but he is a strong, durable defender who can score at times. As one of four Terriers to have played this past season in 2019-2020, Crotty developed into a leader on the team and a face of the defense.
Hickey brings everything you want in a defender and a leader of the defense. He has solid speed with the ability to block and also score points with ease, and he brought more passion and energy than most to man the blue line. BU’s 2017-18 captain lands on the third D-pair
Defense Pair No. 2: David Farrance and Dante Fabbro
This pair spent a whole season working the same shifts back in the 2018-19 season. Both guys are offensive-minded defenders, with 152 points wracked up over their six combined seasons. Both are excellent blockers that can also quarterback the power play.
Farrance is a nine-time top performer and 2019-2020 first teamer in Hockey East. A Hobey Baker Award finalist with 43 points this past season, he has gotten exponentially better each season at BU and is now a lethal, offensive-minded defender.
Fabbro matches Farrance from the right side in clout, defensive skill and offensive mindedness. Developing significantly at BU just like Farrance, these two are too good together to separate and too good to put any lower than the 2nd D-pair
Defense Pair No. 1: Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy
Here we have the seasoned veteran and the star youngster headlining the defense. Grzelcyk is a natural leader, having spent two seasons as captain, scoring many clutch points, and being one of the Terriers’ highest scoring defenders with 95 total points.
McAvoy could move all over the ice with such ease and made an impact from day 1. With his blocking, his speed, and his ability to set up goals, he is an ideal pair with Grzelcyk and an easy choice to make the top defensive line.
Now, we’re on to the goaltenders!
Starting Goaltender: Jake Oettinger
If you look at BU goaltenders of the last ten years, no one was better than Oettinger. The first round pick of the Stars has incredible mobility and awareness in the crease, and in 109 games in net, had the best save percentage and goals allowed average, .923 and 2.34 respectively, of any Terrier goalie of this time frame. He’s an easy pick for starter
Backup Goaltender: Matt O’Connor
While he might be most remembered for a crucial mistake in the 2015 NCAA Championship game, O’Connor still had a strong 2.55 career GAA in 76 games, while also putting together great games in the 2015 Beanpot and the rest of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Not to mention BU went 40-21-10 with him as the starter.
Third Goaltender: Kieran Millan
Here we have the first of three Terriers on the team to have played in the 2000s as well as the 2010s. Millan was the starter in his entire career as a Terrier, and posted a 2.58 GAA, a .915 save percentage in 138 games, and helped the team go 81-42-12 in his starts. That’s the goaltending corps.
And finally, let’s look at the forwards!
Forward Line No. 4: Matt Nieto, Bobo Carpenter and Alex Chiasson.
Nieto is one of just two forwards on this team to also play during the 2000s. He averaged over a point per game from Fall 2011 to Spring 2013. An easy pick for the squad.
Carpenter was a steady center in four years at BU. He also developed into a strong leader. He could flat-out score goals, and he had to make the team.
Chiasson led the Terriers in scoring in the 2010-11 and ’11-12 seasons (Nieto finished right behind him in the latter). A steady right winger, he makes perfect sense to round out this fourth line
Forward Line No. 3: Ahti Oksanen, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Patrick Harper
Ohksanen was a solid defender turned lethal forward. After 41 points in his first two years, he nearly matched that in goals alone in the last two seasons with 40. His shooting and dynamic capabilities make him a great pick for the third line
The man known to Terrier Nation as “JFK,” Forsbacka-Karlsson is an intimidating center who was consistent as anything in his two years at BU. This allowed for harmonious work on the top two lines with the other star point scorers he usually played with.
Harper is the third of four Terriers on the team to play in this most recent season. His BU career started strong and finished equally so. Despite his smaller size, the 3rd highest scorer on this team could get the job done, and he dominated at right wing in the 2019-2020 season.
Forward Line No. 2: Clayton Keller, Trevor Zegras and Evan Rodrigues
This line didn’t wrack up the most service time at BU, but while Keller and Zegras were here, they were two of the most exciting freshmen in college hockey.
Keller brought elite speed and shooting to the Terrier offense in 2016-17. A steady winger who could score and set up goals at will, his one-season wonder led BU in scoring with 45 points and kept the Terriers ranked in the top-10 for the third straight season.
In my two years at BU, Trevor Zegras has been the most fun player to watch. He could move into and out of tight spots so quickly. Like Keller, he became, and remained, a first-liner in his one season as a Terrier. Not to mention his two-goal performance in the 68th Beanpot Championship game. Zegras, like Keller, is just too good to put any lower.
Rodrigues steadies this line with veteran presence and more than enough talent of his own. His development was steady and it peaked in 2014-15 with 61 points, and as a member of the single-best line the Terriers have had all decade (We’ll cover his other two linemates from that season coming up next). A great center who took off as a winger, that’s where we find Rodrigues on the team
Forward Line No. 1: Jordan Greenway, Jack Eichel and Danny O’Regan
We’ve arrived at the top of the offensive depth chart for this all-decade team! Let’s start with Jordan Greenway.
He is a physical specimen, clocking in at 6″5 and 230 pounds, before getting on skates! This allowed him to become a force at the front of the offense and become the target of every opposing player (just as they had all become his). Adding on his 92 points in three seasons as a Terrier, Greenway is one scary player to stare down before the game starts.
We’re going to move to right wing next to cover the 18th highest scorer in Terriers history. Danny O’Regan is the fifth Terrier in the 100 club to make this team, but he by far has the most points with 154 in four seasons. O’Regan, much like his two linemates from 2014-2015, Rodrigues and Jack Eichel, peaked with 50 points in that season, but remained at that level by leading BU in scoring with 44 in the next season. He stands at right wing on the top line to make room for the final forward on the roster.
Jack Eichel simply owned college hockey in 2014-15. The second freshman to ever win the Hobey Baker Award, he scored 71 points at age 17 in his single season at BU. He controlled the offensive game and made those he played around significantly better.
While he did not have the chance to wrack up more points or awards, or enter the 100 Club while in the NCAA, his head coach at the time, now Rangers head coach David Quinn put it best. “I think if someone walked into a hockey rink and [had] never seen the game of hockey before, and watched BU and whoever they were playing just warm up, I think within five seconds they’d look and wonder who No. 9 was for Boston University,” Quinn said in a BU profile on Eichel from 2015.
Simply put, no one could take first-line center over Eichel, and he is the perfect cherry on top to this Terrier hockey dream team.
What do you think of this All-2010s men’s hockey roster? Did I leave anyone out? Would you change up how I arranged the lines? Be sure to make your own!