Boston University rising junior defenseman Brandon Fortunato has elected to leave the program, as an influx of talent has pushed him down on the Terriers’ depth chart.
With Fortunato, BU had 9 D on the roster, including several high NHL picks, so this makes life a bit more simpler for David Quinn.— Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonCHN) July 29, 2016
Fortunato is a skilled puck-moving defenseman who came in to BU as an 18 year old after two years with the USNTDP and immediately became a part of the mix on the power play, putting up 17 assists in his freshman season. This past year he put up a line of 5-17--22 and made the US World Junior roster.
Putting aside how terrifying it is that BU is so stacked that a guy as talented as Fortunato is looking for a way out in order to get more playing time, this could present an opportunity for BC should Fortunato be willing to cross the BC/BU divide.
Fortunato coincidentally would be the only junior on the team and would likely be called upon to play major top 4 minutes, as BC only has three returning D and one upperclassman.
According to the BC Hockey Blog, Fortunato was actually originally slated to come to BC but a scholarship logjam led to him attending BU instead. Could he be interested in joining the Eagles?
At this point, there’s no evidence to suggest this is indeed on the table, though both Mike McMahon and Mark Divver seem to suggest he’s likelier to immediately transfer to another college than go play in the USHL this season and return to college in 2017.
Complicating things, however, is that BU would have to agree to a waiver to make Fortunato eligible to play right away for a conference foe this season. Given the BC-BU rivalry, that seems... unlikely. Still, keep an eye on this. As a kid from the Northeast, you’d think a Hockey East team is a likely destination, but maybe he’ll join Robbie Baillargeon at Arizona State.