Philadelphia — Boston University freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger and his teammates are growing increasingly frustrated with all the talk about the potential of this year’s edition of the Terriers.
“All of us are getting sick and tired of hearing about how good we’re supposed to be. We just want to get on the ice and show everyone what we’re capable of,” said the Lakeville, Minn. native after Thursday’s CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at the Wells Fargo Center.
Oettinger made 12 saves on 14 shots in 30:28 of action in a showcase of 42 of the top American born players who are first-year eligibles for the 2017 NHL Draft. He was the starter for Team LeClair, 6-4 winners over Team Howe.
“Games like that, there was a lot of pace and a lot of skill. Overall, I played a pretty solid game. Looking back, I wish I could have that second goal back,” said Oettinger. “Overall it was a fun experience and to get back in a game situation and start preparing for the season.”
Oettinger, who committed to Boston University when he was playing for the U.S. National Team Development Program Under-17 Team, is expected to be the starting goaltender for David Quinn’s Terriers.
“There was a bunch of different things that went into my decision [to commit to BU],” said Oettinger. “Just the mixture of going to a great school where you can get a great education while playing for coaches like coach Quinn, coach [Albie] O’Connell, coach [Scott] Young and coach [Brian] Eklund is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“Being able to play at BU, which is one of the historical programs in the history of college hockey and to be in the city of Boston all factored into my decision,” Oettinger continued.
Oettinger has become one of the more promising goaltending prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft in large part due to his development while with the NTDP.
“To say all the things that helped me at the NTDP in just one word wouldn’t be possible. Just learning how to practice everyday was a big thing. I had never practiced at that high of a pace before. To be able to practice with that many skilled guys each day was one of the biggest things that helped my development over the past two years,” said Oettinger.
While with the NTDP, Oettinger learned under the tutelage of former Minnesota-Duluth star Kevin Reiter, who is the program’s goaltending coach.
“Having a goalie coach every single day did exponential things to my game. Kevin Reiter has been a great friend and mentor to me. I couldn’t thank him enough.”
Oettinger, as a late 1998-born prospect, will be in his first year of draft eligibility as a freshman this season. NHL scouts like his size, skating ability and overall physical presence of a modern era netminder.
“I try to use my size as much as I can. I don’t try to be super aggressive because I can use my size. I think I’m a pretty good skater,” Oettinger said.
“Henrik Lundqvist, but it’s not really realistic for me to play like him,” said Oettinger, when asked which NHL goalie he most wants to play like.
“[San Jose Sharks goaltender] Martin Jones is a guy who I’ve recently enjoyed watching. I try to emulate some of the things he does,” Oettinger continued.
Oettinger and his teammates have two preseason games, against Prince Edward Island and the U.S. NTDP U-18 Team, before the regular season starts with a road game at Colgate.
“I couldn’t be more excited to get the regular season going. I think we have a really good shot at competing for a national championship,” said Oettinger.