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Boston College Men’s Hockey: The Freshman Class

A quick look at the five newcomers to the Eagles this season

boston college hockey bench

With the men’s hockey season right around the corner, the roster setup of the 2018-19 Eagles is particularly interesting. BC lost just one player to graduation last season and none to the NHL, and while many of the returning players carved out roles on last year’s team, they will be joined by a talented freshman class that can make an immediate and substantial impact. So before the Eagles take the ice in their preseason showdown with New Brunswick next Saturday, here’s a quick rundown of the four forwards and one defenseman who will look to help get BC back to the NCAA Tournament.

Patrick Giles - Giles is one of three freshman this season who will be joining the Eagles from the U.S National Team Development Program, where he played with a number of highly touted recruits. Giles had a quiet season for his team, putting up just two goals and six points in 26 games, but played mostly on the team’s checking line. At 6’4”, he has the size to develop into a real net front presence in his time at BC, as Giles is already listed as one of BC’s biggest forwards.

Jack McBain - The 63rd overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, McBain is another big bodied forward with a bit more scoring prowess than Giles. Listed at 6’3”, McBain put up 58 points in 48 games with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens last season before adding three more in a five game stint with the Canadian Under 18 team. A Minnesota Wild draft pick, McBain has drawn praise for having surprisingly soft hands for someone his size. While it remains to be seen how Jerry York will use him, McBain seems like a strong candidate for a regular in the lineup and potentially someone who can be used to create some problems for opposing goalies on the power play.

Marc McLaughlin - The third forward in this year’s class, McLaughlin spent his last two seasons with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the USHL, where he put up 20 points in 21 games last season. McLaughlin is said to have a solid if unspectacular two way game and while he may have to fight for his ice time early on, certainly looks like someone who could develop into a nice player over his career at BC.

Adam Samuelsson - The first (and only) defenseman in this year’s freshman class, Samuelsson comes to the Eagles with a bit of notoriety, as his father, Ulf Samuelsson, played more than 1000 games in the NHL. While BC fans certainly hope that Adam spends less time in the penalty box than his father (2453 minutes in 1080 games), a physical style on the blue line would be a welcome addition to the team. Adam is listed at 6’4 and seems to have a bit more of a scoring touch than his father, putting up 24 points in 62 games last season. There are currently seven listed defensemen fighting for six spots on the blue line, so Samuelsson may have his work cut out for him, but look for him to start making an impact sooner than later.

Oliver Wahlstrom - With respect to the other four players we have discussed, Oliver Wahlstrom is the prize of this recruiting class. Drafted at #11 by the Islanders in the recent NHL Draft, Wahlstrom spent his last season putting up 94 points in 32 games for the United States Under-18 National Team while playing on a line with fellow first round pick Joel Farabee (a BU commit) and 2019 projected #1 pick Jack Hughes. Simply put, Wahlstrom is the best recruit to make his way to Boston College in a good few years. And while that means that he will have some serious expectations put on his shoulders, there is no reason to think that he will not continue to excel at the college level.

He can also do this:

If you want to get a good look at him, you should make it happen sooner than later, as there is a very good chance that this will be our only year to see him in a BC jersey.