Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Terriers add a forward for the future

BU has secured a commitment from high-scoring forward J.J. Piccinich who was the top scorer for the North Jersey Avalanche U16, one of the top U.S. youth hockey programs. A 5-11, 175 lb. right wing, Piccinich will arrive on Agganis Way in either 2014 or 2015, according to USHR, which projects him as a top six forward and calls him “A gritty, hard-working, intelligent player, [who] can really shoot a puck and make plays.”  

Piccinich was tendered by USHL Youngstown and will skate for the Phantoms this season and likely next year, too.  For the Avalanche, he had a 23-19-42 line in 22 games and then added 8 points in four games at the U16 Nationals.  He also played for Paramus High School, racking up 47 goals and 18 assists.

But it was at last November’s Bauer Invitational in Chicago that Piccinich caught the attention of college and major junior scouts, as he led the Avs to the championship game. USHR suggested that if a tournament MVP would’ve been picked, JJ would have shared it with Avs goalie Chris Birdsall, a recent BC commit. USHR noted:

Piccinich constantly creates offense. We were told that in a round-robin game in which the Avalanche beat the heavily-favored Chicago Mission, Piccinich, who notched a hat trick, was essentially untouchable. He is not the prettiest player to watch, but he gets the job done time and time again.

This past Spring he was one of forty skaters invited to the NTDP tryout camp. After being picked in the OHL entry draft, he elected to join the Phantoms, who expect Piccinich to play a key role in their offense.  Phantoms Director of Player Personnel Jason Koehler said:

“J.J. Piccinich is one of the United States’ elite level power forwards and goal scorers in the 1996 birth class. J.J. had some tough choices to make for where he would play next season and continue his development and we are excited he chose to join our program and family next season. He’s going to be a great addition to the team and bring a tough two-way power forward with strong goal-scoring ability that also finishes all of his checks. Our fans will enjoy watching him as we see him as someone that will be a comparable player to our leading goal scorer this year — JT Stenglein.”

A few evaluators suggest his skating is not yet top end, but he’ll have two USHL seasons to work on it and BU strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle has a track record of helping players with very good skills and hockey sense improve their skating.

A strong student—like Dalton MacAfee who committed last week—he was also being pursued by several Ivies and reportedly BC and PC, too. 

Piccinich will be the fourth product of Dan May’s NJ Avalanche program to play for BU, preceded by Matt Radoslovich, current sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera and 2013 recruit Jarrid Privitera. Radoslovich has returned to the Avs as a coach and we've learned that Matt was married last month.

► Justin Courtnall, who signed an AHL contract with the Bruins’ Providence farm team, agonized for nearly two months about whether to forgo his senior year at BU, The Boston Hockey Blog learned from Courtnall’s dad, former NHLer Geoff Courtenall.

With Labor Day behind us, rankings of college recruit classes have begun to appear. TheHockeyGuys.Net pegged BU’s nine-man class as fourth best.  Meanwhile, OverTheBoards, a hockey site we’ve added to the links in the sidebar, takes a look at the top freshmen in Hockey East including four Terriers, goalie Sean Maguire, defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and forwards Sam Kurker and Danny O’Regan.

Looking back
Former Terrier All American defenseman and captain Freddy Meyer has hung up his skate following a nine-year pro career and has been appointed as an assistant coach for the AHL Manchester Monarchs. Meyer played for the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes and Atlanta Thrashers, before spending last season in Sweden with Modo. Manchester is the Los Angeles Kings’ farm club and the defending Stanley Cup have several other Terrier connections—Jack Ferriera, specialist assistant to general manager Dean Lombardi, and three members of the scouting staff: 2003-04 captain Mark Mullen, Steve Greeley and the dean of New England scouts, Bob Crocker.

● Union Leader feature on Meyer


135BayState said...

I am surprized that you didn't add a comment and link to the report and the BU Today article. I for one am pleased with it. The real issue that I interpreted....organizations need straight lines of communication, tell the freshmen the reality of responsible behavior, integrate them into the cultural and academic life of the community.
The Deans failed to do these and should.
It is college, not the minor leagues for the NHL.
I can live with all that happening.

joseph burrell said...

I really think that is an intelligent tactic by Terriers and I am so glad they are thinking about the future, but as price per head service blogger said, they have to think about the present too

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