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2017-18 Boston College Men’s Hockey Postseason Roundtable, Part 2

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More thoughts from the hockey crew to wrap up the year

Hockey East Tournament Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Check out yesterday’s Part 1 of the roundtable and then check out more of our thoughts below!

Who is your MVP for 2017-18?

Laura: It’s gotta be freshman Logan Hutsko. He led the team with 31 points and was tied for the lead with 12 goals...and he’s a freshman. This is particularly impressive considering that Hutsko overcame a broken neck and a serious knee injury to get to BC.

Arthur: It has to be Logan Hutsko. Not only did he lead the team in scoring, but it seemed that the goals he scored or generated came at some really timely moments for the Eagles.

Steve: I’d also say it’s Hutsko for all the reason’s Arthur mentioned, but I’ll also give Joe Woll a shoutout. He increased his save percentage and his goals against average despite playing behind a worse team than a year ago.

Peter: I gotta give it to the Hockey East Rookie of the Year, Logan Hutsko. Absolutely phenomenal season for the Tampa native and do I dare say that there is a Gaudreau-esque future for him? (idk, maybe just feeling some serious nostalgia)

Grant: Joe Woll was really a monster after World Juniors. It’s between him and Hutsko, but given that it felt like Woll kept us alive while we were getting peppered late in the season, I’d have to give it to him. The World Juniors experience obviously served him well.

Who was the most improved between last season and this season?

Laura: You could make a strong argument for either Graham McPhee or Julius Mattila, but I’ve gotta give it to McPhee. He increased his points by 14 this season, and just looked like a stronger and more mature player overall. And he got better at keeping his temper in check.

Arthur: I’m going to say Ron Greco. He was really a fourth line forward last season that didn’t get a tremendous amount of ice time. However, he’s kind of evolved into more of a depth player that can be slotted in at really any part of the roaster. He played some really gritty minutes that were much needed for the Eagles. To go from a guy at the sort of end of the bench (thought that’s admittedly more of a basketball term) to a guy who plays really solid minutes that gets called on to play some minutes on the second and third line is pretty darn good. Also for what it’s worth, this may be a product of Greco taking less shots, but he had the third best shooting percentage on the team.

Steve: Julius Mattila. Third on the team in scoring and increased his point totals by 10 after an already solid freshman campaign. Mattila has one of the best shots on the team and he turned himself into a no doubt top six forward this season. He tied Hutsko and Graham McPhee for the team lead in goals this season and he’s my way too early prediction to do so again next year.

Peter: I am going to have to go with Graham McPhee. Progressing from his freshman year into his sophomore, McPhee more than quadrupled his goal count and proved to be highly beneficial when his line was on the ice. Looking forward to see him become even more of a staple come next season.

Grant: How about Graham McPhee? 2-8—10 to 12-12—24 is a hell of a jump. That’s more than solid production for a team that struggled to score at times.

Who improved the most over this season?

Laura: I’m gonna go with Kevin Lohan. He started the season on the bench, but gradually earned a role as a valuable member of the defense by showing a strong capacity for shutdown defense. And then he ended the year with some great shots and a two-goal game. I’m bummed out we only get one year of him.

Arthur: Can I keep saying Logan Hutsko? It’s getting repetitive. But yeah, his scoring really improved as the season went on.

Steve: David Cotton didn’t score his first goal until halfway through November and still managed to put up a decent if somewhat underwhelming final stat line. I’m half convinced he was playing through something that he probably shouldn’t have been early on, his skating got noticeably better in December and onward, so I think (and hope) that this was more the case of a player returning to where we all expected him to be.

Peter: Gotta go back to the well on this one and say Logan Hutsko. Kid can play puck and acclimated well with the challenges that come with NCAA hockey.

Grant: I’m going to give this one to Joe Woll. Woll was decent in the beginning of the year but there were times where we wanted to see what Edquist could give us when things got kind of rough.
Flash forward to post-WJC, though, and Woll was a dynamo. He was superhero and is the biggest reason our season lasted as long as it did. He almost stole us one against BU in the Hockey East semifinals, but the forwards couldn’t convert in overtime once they started getting more possession.

Please provide a gif that describes your feelings about this season:

Laura:

Arthur:

Steve:

Peter:

Grant:

Any other thoughts you want to share?

Laura: I think it is important to keep this season in perspective. This was always going to be a rebuilding year, and BC did alright considering that. Plenty of teams would be thrilled with the season the Eagles just had. We shouldn’t get complacent, because BC can do better, but if we’re back in the NCAA Tournament next year I don’t think there is anything to worry about.

Arthur: We all knew that this was a season that would generate some disappointment. The team achieved as much as they really should have. I get that there might be some discontent amongst the fan-base because this is the second year in the row missing out on the tournament, but this was always going to be a deep rebuild. They are pretty much where they need to be.

Also, I just wanted to give a shoutout to Michael Sullivan, who, outside of myself, Laura Berestecki, Grant Salzano and Joe Gravellese, has covered this team more closely than anybody out there, professional or student. He covered his last game at Kelley Rink back in February, which, in his typical fashion, he didn’t really make a big deal of, even though a lot of us who follow this team owe him a debt of gratitude for his work. He was a credit to the beat, and always professional. Whoever takes over the men’s hockey beat for The Heights has some big shoes to fill.

Steve: I have seen more than zero people say that York has lost his touch. That number is too high. Please do not make it higher.

Peter: BC faithful knew that this was not going to be a classic Jerry York season with wins galore due to such a youth-ridden roster. Needless to say, that premonition did prove rather accurate. There were a lot of growing pains that came with rebuilding a team practically from scratch including a no-bid tournament appearance and another weak showing in the annual Beanpot. I am with the rest of the Eagles fanbase in experiencing this frustration. However, this team showed to play with a lot heart and gusto and opened the door to a bright future. Be careful of this team in the years to come because very soon they could be back on the warpath once again.

Grant: It feels like we’re in a brutal rock-bottom world the last couple seasons, which is ludicrous because we won the regular season title this year and a share of it last season. Two thirds of the country would probably kill to be as “bad” as we were the last two years.
Missing the NCAA tournament sucks, but the last couple years have been a perfect storm of having elite talent not make it to campus and us reloading due to guys going to the pros at the same time. It feels like rebuilding period might have finally come to an end, though, because there is a really good core group of guys on the team that look like they might be able to put it all together next season.
We’ll be in the tournament again next year, as long as we keep this squad together and get everyone to campus (which is an “if” that has sunk us the last two seasons, I know), but it should be a fun season. Given how bad things got for some other the other top teams (BU and Wisconsin each had a season or two down in Huntsville territory), we should consider ourselves very, very, very fortunate that we have a coaching staff that was able to put together a couple respectable seasons while the team was rebuilt with that core.
I think BC will be back next year. Let’s see how far we go.