Thursday, May 27, 2021

Commesso added to Team USA; Central Scouting rankings

Rising sophomore goalie Drew Commesso was added to the roster of Team USA currently playing in the IIFH Men’s World Championships in Latvia. Commesso, named to the squad by team GM Chris Drury, replaces Anthony Stolarz, who was injured just minutes into Team USA’s 5-1 win against Canada.  Jake Oettinger played the final 56 minutes and stopped 26 of 27 shots in a strong relief effort. Adam Clendening provided the game-winner against Canada and did it again in the U.S.’s 3-0 shutout of Kazakhstan. Team USA, now 3-1-0, faces Norway on Saturday.

Commesso, who was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie team, had a 2.99 GAA and a .915 save percentage in 11 games for BU.

BU’s schedule for 2021-22 has not yet been released, but online postings have revealed some of the expected out-of-conference games. The Terriers will host Arizona state for a pair of games, will travel to Northern Michigan for two games and head south to Brown for one game. The Beanpot tournament, cancelled last season, will resume.

Looking ahead

Eight future Terrier skaters and one future netminder are on NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings of North Americans for the 2021 draft:Tyler Boucher #25, Roman Schmidt #58, Jack Harvey #98, Shane Lachance #110, Charles-Alexis Legault #123, Quinn Hutson #177, Nick Roukounakis #184, Jeremy Wilmer #194 and Anton Castro #14-goalie.

Boucher, Schmidt, Legault and Wilmer are 2021 recruits. However, Wilmer was drafted by USHL Waterloo today in the first round of the league’s Phase II draft—third overall. A diminutive right-shot forward, Wilmer was fifth in scoring for the NTDP U18s with an 11-25-36 line despite missing 13 games with injuries.

2022 recruit Jack Musa also was selected in the Phase II draft, ninth overall by Madison. The 5’8” forward played last season for the NAHL Odessa Jackalopes, scoring 17 points in 34 games. Previously, he played at Trinity Pawling and for the North Jersey Avalanche 16U AAA as a teammate of Castro and 2022 recruit Lane Hutson.

2023 recruit Ryan Fine was selected for the 2021-22 NTDP U17 team, following evaluation camp. A right-shot forward, Fine played for Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey and for the Mid-Fairfield Rangers 15U team.

Looking back

After a strong season on the Bruins’ blueline, Charlie McAvoy has raised his game a notch in the playoffs. In game four of the series against Washington, the BU All-American became the fifth defenseman in team history to tally three assists in a Stanley Cup playoff game. McAvoy had five assists in the Caps series while his blueline partner, Matt Grzelcyk had a 1-2-3 line.

● McAvoy’s Monster Night

Friday, May 14, 2021

Broadway Blues drama: Drury moves up, Quinn out, Grier in

The upheaval in the New York Rangers organization and its intersection with Terrier hockey took another turn today when former BU All-American and long-time NHLer Mike Grier was hired as an advisor to the team’s hockey operations. The move reunites the Detroit, Michigan native with new Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury, who had been his teammate on BU’s 1995 national championship team and the 1996 Frozen Four team, as well as playing together with the Buffalo Sabres.

Grier, whose brother Chris is the general manager of the Miami Dolphins, played 14 seasons in the NHL (1,060 games) spending six seasons in Edmonton, four with the Sabres, three with the San Jose Sharks, and two with the Washington Capitals. In 1998-99, he posted a career-best 44 points (20G,24A) for the Oilers.

Since his retirement in 2011, he has been a scout for the Blackhawks, an assistant coach at St. Sebastian’s, his high school alma mater where his son Jayden plays, and an assistant coach for the Devils under another Terrier teammate, John Hynes.

Grier replaces Blueshirt legend and BC All-American Brian Leetch in the advisory position.

Drury was elevated from associate general of the Rangers and GM of AHL Hartford on May 5 when owner James Dolan fired team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton in the first of several controversial moves regarding the progress of the team’s three-year rebuilding effort. Drury had reportedly drawn interest from other teams looking to make front office moves. (Pittsburgh was mentioned in several reports).

Two days ago after the Rangers completed their season, Drury announced the firing of head coach David Quinn following three seasons of his five-year contract. Quinn, who amassed a 96-87-25 record, reportedly will receive $2.4 million for each of the next two seasons.

Drury, as Gorton’s assistant, had lobbied for Quinn’s hiring in 2018 and was instrumental in convincing the former BU head coach to accept the Rangers’ job. It’s widely believed that the decision to let Quinn go came directly from Dolan and his advisor Glen Sather.

What might be next for Quinn, a standout Terrier defenseman in the 1980s? Hockey analyst Dave Starman offers an opinion.

In addition to his Rangers duties, Drury will serve as general manager for Team USA in the upcoming Men’s World Championships in Riga, Latvia. The U.S. roster includes former Terriers Adam Clendening and Jake Oettinger. Clendening, named to the Hockey East All-Rookie team in 2010-11 and a league first-team all-star the next season, has played 90 games in six NHL seasons, most recently with Columbus.

Oettinger just completed a strong rookie season with the Dallas Stars, compiling an 11-8-7 record in 29 games with a 2.36 GAA and a .911 save percentage. In three years at BU, he had a 58-40-11 record with a 2.34 GAA and a .923 save percentage. His 13 career shutouts are tied for program-best with Jack Fereira and John Curry.

● The inredible rise of rookies Robertson and Oettinger

● Dallas Morning News Stars can’t overlook Oettinger’s rookie performance


Looking ahead

2022 recruit Lane Hutson was named one of three top US players in the World U18 championships in Frisco, Texas. Hutson, who played for the U17s most of last season, moved up to the U18s when injuries sidelined several defensemen and the small but skilled blueliner impressed.

● SI-Hockey News: Hutson packs crazy skill into a small frame

Among BU recruits in the USHL: Quinn Hutson (2021 or 2022), Lane’s older brother, finished with 42 points in 45 games; Brian Carrabes (2021) had 40 points in 45 games; Braden Doyle (2021) 24 points in 51 games; Charles-Alexis Legault (2021) five points in 23 games; Ryan Greene (2022) 32 points in 51 games; and Michael LaStarza (2022) 24 points in 50 games.

Two other recruits, 2021 Tyler Boucher and 2023 Shane Lachance, were featured in’s “Prospects on the radar.”

Tyler Boucher (6-1, 205), RW, USA U-18 (USHL): The son of Brian Boucher, a goalie for 13 NHL seasons, has established himself as a power forward in the 2021 draft and is a B-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list. The 18-year-old is progressing well after sustaining a knee injury Jan. 14 and is expected to return to the ice in May. He scored 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 12 games (0.92 points per game) this season after scoring 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 43 games for the Under-17 team in 2019-20. 

"You don't get to this level without compete and work ethic and the things that separate you, because eventually you're going to be with just as talented or more talented players, but what Tyler brings to the table is a lot of skill," NHL Central Scouting's senior manager David Gregory said. "He's got very good vision and hockey sense and can fly with the puck, but at the same time he's thinking to make the right play, so that's a deadly combination."

 Shane Lachance (6-4, 195), LW, Boston Jr. Bruins (NCDC): The 17-year-old is the son of former NHL forward Scott Lachance and grandson of United States Hockey Hall of Famer and former Boston University coach Jack Parker. The C-rated skater scored 15 points (six goals, nine assists), five power-play points (three goals, two assists) and two game-winners in 25 regular-season games for the Junior Bruins of the National Collegiate Development Conference. 

"Shane is a really interesting player; here's a guy that has really good hockey sense," Gregory said. "He's impressive in tight situations for a big guy with nice hands and he's gotten a lot bigger over the last couple of years. His skating has gotten a lot better from last year to this year."

2023 recruit Ryan Fine participated at the just completed NTDP evaluation camp for next season's U17 team. A forward from Center Moriches, N.Y., Fine played for the Mid Fairfield Rangers 15 Only team and for Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey last season. Also at the camp was defenseman Gavin McCarthy, younger brother of Case McCarthy.

Women’s Team

A star BU defenseman and more recently assistant coach of the Terriers, Tara Watchorn becomes the first head coach at Stonehill College.



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