Boston University 8, Massachusetts 1
Friday, October 10, 2014
Game Recap: Eichel's Big Third Period Gives BU Lopsided Win
2015 NHL Draft Eligibles
Jack Eichel, RC, 6-2/194, 10/28/96 - It's very easy to be awed by the once-in-a-generation talent that the North Chelmsford, Mass. native possesses. He's got a world class shot and is just effortless in his long smooth stride. One thing you really start to notice when watching closely is his tremendous wing span. His reach helped him score his first goal on Friday. His poise and patience with the puck is another huge asset. Opposing defenses really give him respect and he waits to draw the defenders before making a crisp pass right on a teammate's stick. He just has that extra gear that seems to come out when the game dictates it most.
A.J. Greer, LW, 6-3/205, 12/14/96 - The Kimball Union Academy alum and Joliette, Quebec native really gets overshadowed by Eichel, but organizations should be honing in on this big power forward. Greer has the ability to change a game based on his pure power and strength. He wins one-on-one battles, is strong on pucks and is relentless in pursuit. He scored his first career goal on a quick snap shot in the third period that beat the goaltender to the low near side. Considering he won't even turn 18 until the semester break, it's remarkable to be impressed by his strength and power when he's going up against defensemen that are at times five or six years older than he is.
Brandon Fortunato, LD, 5-10/150, 6/7/96 - As an undersized defenseman, Fortunato was passed up in last summer's NHL Draft and will be eligible for the second time in 2015. He still has some inadequacies in the defensive end, but he's a smooth, finesse skater that works wonders with the puck on his stick. He had an assist on one of Eichel's goals and was +4 on the night. The Terriers didn't have any power play opportunities on Friday, but he manned the left point with captain Matt Grzelcyk on BU's first PP unit in the team's exhibition game.
Chase Phelps, LW, 6-1/181, 4/26/96 - Playing on BU's fourth line, he didn't get on the scoresheet, but there is a lot to like about his game. He's very strong along the boards and wins battles. He does a real good job creating havoc on the forecheck. He impressed more in the exhibition win last weekend so he's certainly a player to keep an eye on as the year goes along. The Shattuck St. Mary's alum will be a second-year eligible as well in 2015.
Undrafted Free Agents
Evan Rodrigues, RS LW, 5-11/178, 7/28/93 - Doesn't have the size that NHL organizations are looking for, but he has good skill and stick work. Despite his lack of obvious strength or size, he's not afraid to bring the puck to the net. He made a real nice moving cutting down the left side on BU's second goal. He drew some defenders to the left of the goal mouth before dropping a pass back to teammate Nikolas Olsson for a quick goal. He's not a player destined for the NHL, but he could make a strong AHL bid after the season is over.
Connor LaCouvee, G, 6-0/196, 5/24/94 - The BCHL product didn't even know he was going to start his first collegiate game until 1 p.m. Incumbent starter Matt O'Connor suffered a lower body injury in practice and was going to be used in an emergency scenario only. There were no signs of butterflies and LaCouvee said he had prepared well and played as if it was just another game. His coach commented that he looked like he had started 60 college games. He did a good job for the most part of kicking pucks to the corner and covering up loose pucks in the crease. He bailed his team out on three penalty kills and when things got sloppy once the score became lopsided. He's got good size in the crease and plays his angles well. He's certainly a goaltender to keep an eye on as he develops in NCAA.
NHL Rights Owned
Danny O'Regan, RW, 5-10/175, 1/30/94 (SJS '12) - O'Regan was the benefactor of playing with Jack Eichel on Friday night, but there was a lot to like about his play. As coach David Quinn said after the game, he worked hard on his shot over the offseason. That was clearly evident on both goals he scored from the right slot. Both shots were lasers to the top corner of the net. He still doesn't have the size or the sure fire skill to make it to the NHL, but the former St. Sebastian's star looks like he's ready to have a good year after a lackluster sophomore season.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.