I am going to change up the content of this blog moving forward. I started out weighing in with my thoughts on various topics around the Bruins. But there are plenty of those opinions out there!!! I am passionate about college hockey and learning about incoming recruits and the stories around those kids. So I am going to focus my blog in those areas.
There has been a lot of talk here in Boston over the last couple weeks around the Bruins signing McAvoy and JFK from BU as well as Clayton Keller leaving school to sign with Arizona. In addition to those key underclassman departures BU is also losing Nick Roberto, Doyle Somerby (last years captain) and Tommy Kelley to graduation. With all those departures I wanted to start by taking a high level look at the BU recruiting class for 2017-18 to get a sense for who David Quinn is bringing in to help fill the void created by those guys moving on.
Shane Bowers, C (6’0 170 lbs) – A native of Halifax Nova Scotia Bowers is a left shot Center who has played his Junior hockey the last two years in the USHL for the Waterloo Black Hawks. He put up 49 points (21G – 28A) in 57 games this past season. 200 foot player who isn’t flashy but is solid in all areas of the game. Ranked the #20 prospect in the 2017 NHL draft by hockeyprospect.com.
Brady Tkachuk, C (6’2 194 lbs) – Son of NHL great Keith Tkachuk and brother of Calgary Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk he is a left shot Center who has spent the last two seasons playing for the USA Hockey National Development program. This season for the USNTDP U18 team Tkachuk put up 45 points (22G – 23A) in 52 games plus 115 penalty minutes!! Physical player who is a pretty good skater that has good hands and a scoring touch. Tkachuk will be eligible for the 2018 draft and is considered one of the top prospects in that draft class.
Logan Cockerill, RW (5’9 163 lbs) – Michigan native Cockerill is another left shot forward who has been teammates with Tkachuk with the USNTDP program for the last two seasons. For the U18 squad this year he posted 24 points (13G – 11A) in 43 games. Undersized forward with tremendous speed, vision and creativity. He is eligible for the 2017 NHL draft.
Ty Amonte, RW (5’11 185 lbs) – Another son of a Massachusetts hockey (Tony Amonte) heading to BU next season. Ty is Norwell, MA native who is a right shot forward that played his high school hockey at Thayer Academy. Played his Junior hockey this season for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL in Canada putting up 37 points (17G – 20A) in 58 games. Not a clear scouting report on Amonte out there but it appears he is a kid who shown significant improvement in all aspects of his game over the course of the last couple seasons.
Henry Crone, LW (5’8 161 lbs) – Crone is a 19 year old native of Dallas, TX who is a left shot winger who has spent the past three seasons playing in the USHL for the Omaha Lancers and Fargo Force. Last year for the Force he put up 56 points (23G – 33A) in 53 games. Creative playmaker with real good hands and a nice shot. 2017 draft eligible.
Kasper Kotkansalo, D (6’2 190 lbs) – A native of Finland Kotkansalo came to North America for this last season and played in the USHL for the Sioux Falls Stampede scoring 12 points (1G – 11A) in 47 games. Also played for Finland’s U18 in the World Junior U18 tournament. Two way defenseman with good size. He is eligible for the 2017 draft.
Cam Crotty, D (6’1 172 lbs) – Crotty is a right shot D-man from Ontario. Played his Junior hockey the last two seasons in the CCHL for the Brockville Braves. Posted 13 points (4G – 9A) in 41 games for the Braves this season. Good size and skating ability and is known as more of a stay at home defenseman but has the ability to jump in the rush. He is eligible for the 2017 draft.
David Farrance, D (5’11 187 lbs) – Farrance is a left shot D-man out of New York. Was a teammate of Tkachuk and Cockerill with the USNTDP program for the last two seasons. For the U18 squad last year he posted 32 points (5G – 27A) in 55 games. Offensive minded defenseman with good vision who is a very good skater. Eligible for the 2017 draft and is ranked the #75 overall prospect by Future Considerations.
It is impossible to match up this class against BU’s powerhouse class of 2016. At first glance it appears Farrance has the highest immediate upside on the blue line to come in and try and fill some of the void left by McAvoy. Bowers and Tkachuk will look to do the same at the Center position again trying to fill some of the void left by Keller & JFK.