Preseason Top 16: #7 Boston University


It’s that time of year again. Each day (or so) for the next couple weeks TCHB will be unveiling its preseason top 16 teams in the country. 16 of course because 16 teams make up the NCAA tournament field. Today’s team is the #7 Boston University Terriers

Last year BU had a bit of an up and down year but with an extremely young roster ended up third in Hockey East and just missed the NCAA tournament. With Hockey East potentially looking a little down this year and with nearly everyone returning the Terriers should be Hockey East favorites.

Forwards: The Terriers return their top 6 scorers in terms of points, though their leading goal scorer, Joe Periera, graduated. A solid trio of Freshmen (Charlie Coyle, Matt Nieto and Sahir Gill) combined for 23 goals last year and I expect all of them to get better this year. Though Nieto had the most goals of the three I think Coyle is by far the best player (and probably best on the entire team). He was traded from the Sharks to the Wild this offseason and was probably the best forward on the US’s WJC team last winter. BU’s leading returning scorer is Alex Chiasson, who had 14 goals and a team high 34 points last year. The Terriers didn’t score much as a team (2.81 goals per conference game, 5th in Hockey East; only 4 double digit goal scorers) but with the general progression of the young forwards, as well as an improvement on a power play that converted at just 12.8% in conference play last year, the Terriers should have one of the better offenses in the league.

Defensemen: The big loss is David Warsofsky signing with the Bruins, but the Terriers still have a good group of guys back, the best of whom is probably Adam Clendening, a 2nd round pick by the Blackhawks in the most recent draft. Also watch for Max Nicastro, a future Red Wing, who had 5 goals last year and I think should have made the WJC team each of the past two years. Talented recruit Alexx (yes, really) Privitera, who had 10 goals and 34 points for Muskegeon (USHL) will be a boost for the blueline.

Goaltenders: Kieran Millan has a national title, but was even better last year than in his national title season. His .932 save percentage in Hockey East play was 2nd to John Muse.

If the talented group of youngsters improve as much as they have the potential to, BU will be Hockey East favorites, and they will also be in the hunt for a Frozen Four berth and perhaps their second national title in 4 years.

note: I am driving down to school this week and won’t have much in the way of internet access, so TCHB is going on a mini-vacation.