BC is coming off a disappointing 2016-17 campaign in which they failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament. Add to that the teams best player in Colin White has signed his ELC with Ottawa and will not be returning. They also lose several key seniors including Matt Gaudreau, Austin Cangelosi, Ryan Fitzgerald, Scott Savage and Chris Calnan. The Eagles are no doubt in middle of a rebuilding phase so let’s take a look at the freshman class that will be coming in for the 2017-18 season to try and help jump start the rebuild…
EELI TOLVANEN, LW (5’10 179 lbs) – One of the crown jewels of the 2017-18 college hockey recruiting class. Played for Finland’s U20 World Junior team last year. Also played in the USHL for the Sioux City Musketeers where he posted 53 points (30g – 23a) in 50 games. Tolvanen is one of the top prospects in the 2017 draft currently ranked #12 by hockeyprospects.com. Tolvanen was also selected by the Oshawa Generals in the 1st rd. of last seasons CHL draft but chose to return to the USHL again which would indicate he is on track to play for BC next season but that is something to keep an eye on (remember Jeremy Bracco). Will play a key offensive role for BC next season.
AAPELI RASANEN, C (6’0 196 lbs) – A native of Finland who played for Finland’s World Junior U20 team last season along with Tolvanen. Also played with Tolvanen in the USHL for the Sioux City Musketeers putting up 25 points (7g – 18a) in 38 games. Rasanen was a 6th rd. pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2016 draft. Look for Rasanen to step into a big role at BC next fall.
MICHAEL KAROW, D (6’2 194 lbs) – Karow is a left shot Defenseman from Green Bay, WI who played is junior hockey this season in the USHL with the Youngstown Phantoms logging 20 points (4g -16a) in 56 games. Karow is the only defenseman commit for BC in the 2017-18 class so expect him to play an important role on the teams blue line.
CASEY CARREAU, F (5’10 170 lbs) – Achushnet, Massachusetts native who played his high school hockey at Thayer Academy putting up big numbers the last couple seasons including 60 points this past season. BC has a big group of seven forwards expected to come in next season. Assuming they all arrive on campus (see Tolvanen) Carreau will try and challenge for a 3rd-4th line role.
MITCHELL MARTAN, LW (5’8 187 lbs) – Martan is a left shot winger from Whitby, Ontario native who split time in juniors last year playing 18 games for the West Kelowna Warriors of the BCHL before moving on to play 29 games for the Wellington Dukes. He put up 20 points combined (4g – 16a). Similar to Carreau, with a crowded forward group it appears Martan will compete for a 3rd-4th line role.
JOSEPH CASSETTI, LW (6’3 201 lbs) – Cassetti is a big LW from California who has spent the last two seasons playing for USA Hockey’s National Development Program. In 43 games for the U18 team he put up 7 points (5g – 2a). Brings a different element with size and power than the other forwards in the class. Should be drafted in the 2017 NHL draft.
CHRISTOPHER GRANDO, LW (5’10 154 lbs) – Grando comes to BC out of New York and has spent the last two seasons playing junior hockey in the USHL for the Green Bay Gamblers. Last year he amassed 33 points (9g – 24a) in 59 games. Put Grando in the same category as Martan and Carreau in terms of competing for a role next year.
MONTE GRAHAM, F (5’11 174 lbs) – Graham is a native of Hanover, MA who played three year of high school hockey at Thayer Academy before moving onto the USHL for the last two season playing for the Tri-City Storm. Recorded 24 points (8g – 16a) in 58 games last season. Again, with seven forwards in this class roles on the 3rd-4th lines will be competitive.
Interesting recruiting class for BC. If they can keep Tolvanen from major juniors and the CHL he will be a high impact player for them along with Rasanen. With Karow being the only blue liner in this class he should have an impact as should Cassetti with his size and power game. The other four forwards will likely compete for roles in the bottom six.