If Jack Eichel was the most anticipated BU recruit in recent years--or perhaps in decades--then the USNTDP U18s' scoring champion, Clayton Keller (107 points), and top goal-scorer, Kieffer Bellows (50 goals), comprise the most offensively-talented duo recruited to BU in recent memory. THFB guest writer Neal Boudette (BU '84), who covers automobiles for the New York Times and writes about hockey any chance he gets, sat down with the center from Swansea, Illinois, and the left wing from Edina, Minnesota, to explore the on-ice chemistry they developed to become the most feared forward tandem in junior hockey last season.
Masters in Chemistry:
Keller and Bellows Set to Bring Unique On-Ice Connection to BU
By Neal E. Boudette
In the bronze-medal game at this year’s U18 World Championships, Team USA was leading Canada 2-1 in the middle of the first period when the puck came to Clayton Keller in the left circle.
Many Terrier fans are hoping that what happened next is a preview of what’s coming to Agganis Arena this fall.
Keller, a BU recruit, had his back to the net. Glancing over his left shoulder, he spotted Kieffer Bellows, his teammate on the USA National Team Development Program this past season and also a Terrier recruit, drifting down from the blue line on the other side of the ice.
Rather than continue to his left, Keller suddenly spun around the opposite other way to his right, and in one motion whipped a blind pass across the ice. The puck threaded through three Canadian players caught off guard by the unexpected move, but the recipient wasn’t surprised in the least. Bellows reached the puck in full stride and one-timed it into the Canadian net.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
Two days after scoring the game-winner in game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, Penguins center Nick Bonino set up Phil Kessel for Pittsburgh's first goal in the Pens' 2-1 overtime win over the Sharks in game 2. With four goals and 13 assists in 20 playoff games, Bonino is tied for second on the Penguins in playoff scoring and leads the club in playoff assists. Matt Nieto returned to the Sharks' line-up after an extended absence due to an upper body injury.
● NHL.com recap and video
One of the best games all year for the @penguins? @NickBonino thinks so. #StanleyCup https://t.co/pPhWaEbkSY— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) June 2, 2016
►All five Penguins' goals in the first two games of the finals have been scored by former NCAA players.
● College Hockey Inc. report
Chris Bourque, who led the AHL in scoring this past season with 80 points, has 11 points for Hershey, which is playing in the Calder Cup finals. The Bears trail Lake Erie, 1-0, in the best of seven series.
The @2016NHLDraft combine starts today. Bellows, Fabbro, Keller, Krys, & McAvoy will represent @TerrierHockey— Boston Hockey Blog (@BOShockeyblog) June 3, 2016
NHL.com's Mike Morreale tweeted photos of several Terriers at the combine.
Charlie McAvoy, Dante Fabbro, Kieffer Bellows.
2017 recruit Ty Amonte will spend next season playing for the BCHL Penticton Vees. The right wing from Norwell, Mass., scored 70 points during his senior season at Thayer Academy, coached by his father, former Terrier standout and NHL star Tony Amonte. He led the Tigers to the NEPSAC Large School's championship this past March.
Ty's exceptional senior season helped him win the Bruins' John Carlton Memorial Award, which is presented annually to the top male and female player from an Eastern Mass. high school or junior program “who combines exceptional hockey skills with academic excellence.” Previous winners of the Carlton Award include BU's Charlie Coyle and current Harvard coach Ted Donato.
2016 recruit Dante Fabbro starred for Penticton the past two seasons, earning top BCHL defenseman honors in 2015-16. He is projected to be selected in the first round of the June NHL Entry Draft.
● Junior Hockey News report
● Patriot Ledger report