It's been a good start to the season for preseason favorite Boston College, sans a disappointing 2-1 loss at Rensselaer. Jerry York's team is 8-1-0 and has blanked its opponents in six of the nine contests.
The Eagles have no shortage of NHL prospects who are off to impressive starts. Headlining the group is Vancouver Canucks draft pick Thatcher Demko, who is responsible for all six shutouts. The San Diego, Calif. native has a 0.67 goals against average and a .974 save percentage.
Making the start even more impressive is the fact he is coming off major hip surgery during the off-season. Demko looks as smooth as he ever has in the crease.
Junior defenseman Steve Santini has looked sharp, as well. The New Jersey Devils prospect is +9 and has quietly been real good in each game. His mobility from the blue line allows him to maintain terrific defensive zone coverage as well as moving the puck.
BC's only draft eligible player, freshman Casey Fitzgerald, has been a pleasant surprise. His skating ability and puck-moving skills have never been questioned throughout his development. His +11 is tied for the team lead among defensemen. He's played beyond his years and played bigger than his size.
Casey's brother Ryan Fitzgerald has really taken his game to a new level this season. The Boston Bruins draft pick appears stronger and more capable of maintaining puck possession. He scored another goal on Sunday and now has a team-best five markers on the season. However, it's more than just his goal scoring that has stood out. One on particular shift, he used his body as leverage to fend off Maine defenders as he circled around the cage twice.
New Jersey Devils prospect Miles Wood scored BC's second goal on Sunday and continues to show off his speed. His goal was from right in the dirty area as he beat a couple of Maine defenders to the loose puck in front of the goal mouth. He's big, strong and fast. He has certainly exceeded all expectations.
It took freshman Colin White a few games to get his feet under him, but he's taken off over the past four contests. The Hanover, Mass. native has two goals and seven assists in his current four-game scoring streak. He had two assists on Sunday and a breakaway chance that resulted in Maine having to take a penalty. His speed and power is impressive.
If there was one bright spot for Maine it was junior Blaine Byron, who is the only Black Bear north of zero in the plus/minus category on the season. As is the rest of the team, the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect is struggling to score. He has now gone seven games without a point, but he made a few nice plays along the wall Sunday. He's a good skater, but there's just little help in terms of puck support from his teammates.