The Boston University men’s hockey team is set to begin another exciting season. Get to know BU and its Hockey East competitors with one preseason observation for each team.
For a full Hockey East preview and coverage of every game this season, check out the Boston Hockey Blog, the home of The Daily Free Press’s BU hockey coverage.
Boston College (No. 7 in U.S. College Hockey Online preseason rankings)
Last year BC said goodbye to only three graduating seniors. However, they also lost top scorer Matt Boldy and starting goalie Spencer Knight. Senior forwards Jack McBain and captain Marc McLaughlin were among the Eagle’s top scorers last season and will be looking to lead their team’s forward core this upcoming season.
Boston University (No. 10)
BU is welcoming back an almost identical roster from last year’s, with the notable exception being the departure of Hobey Baker Award finalist David Farrance to the Nashville Predators. BU is welcoming only five freshmen and will bid farewell to just three seniors at the end of the year. Assistant captain Ty Amonte will be joined by his younger brother Tristan.
University of Connecticut
The only real standout loss of the offseason is senior defenseman Adam Karashik. His loss will be felt on and off the ice. While also serving as captain, Karashik produced nine points in 23 games. All eyes will be on graduate student goaltender Darion Hanson, a transfer from Union College, filling the net after the departure of Tomas Vomacka, who played all 23 games for the Huskies last season.
University of Maine
With only three incoming freshmen, the Black Bears are one of the more experienced teams in Hockey East. One player to watch would be Adam Dawe. The undersized senior forward led Maine in scoring last year with 14 points in 16 games.
University of Massachusetts Amherst (No. 1)
The Minutemen won both the Hockey East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament last season. UMass lost six seniors last year, most notably top scorers Oliver Chau and Jake Gaudet. The most notable loss, however, is goaltender Filip Lindberg, who left on an entry-level two-year contract with the Penguins.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
The Riverhawks would like to build off of a surprising run in the Hockey East Tournament with a roster very different from the 2020-21 squad. With 14 skaters who are either freshmen or sophomores, the Riverhawks will rely on the leadership of senior captain Lucas Condotta and alternate captains Reid Stefanson and Jon McDonald.
With a high percentage of their roster as juniors, Merrimack’s core is ready to come into its own with a return to normalcy for this group where many have not played a traditional season of college hockey. As a team that struggled to produce offensively last year, the Warriors will rely on a maturing core led by forwards Filip Forsmark, Alex Jeffries and Liam Walsh.
University of New Hampshire
The Wildcats suffered only a few notable losses from last year’s team. Top forward Angus Croonshank has departed for the Ottawa Senators’ system, and senior assistant captain Patrick Grasso will be playing for the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League. Senior goalie Mike Robinson will be between the pipes once again this season after playing in 21 games last year.
The Huskies have notable first-year players from the U.S. National Development Program, including forwards Jack Hughes and Ryan St. Louis, son of NHL legend Martin St. Louis. Also getting his first minutes with the Huskies this year will be goaltender Devon Levi, a standout for Team Canada during last year’s World Junior Championship.
The Friars will be welcoming six incoming freshmen to the team — three of whom are NHL draftees. Transfer graduate student goaltender Austin Cain will be joining senior Jimmy Scannell and junior Jaxson Stauber. During Stauber’s impressive 2020-21 campaign, he posted a 0.916 save percentage and a 2.24 goals-against-average.
University of Vermont
The Catamounts experienced a major roster turnaround since last season. Vermont will have to rely on the leadership of junior captain Andrew Lucas and assistant captains Carter Long, Jacques Bouquot and William Lemay to get the Catamounts started on the right foot.