This offseason is likely to be wild in college hockey just as in all college sports, with the extra year of eligibility for this year’s players leading to a likely shuffling of grad transfers and changes/delays to commitments on the books.
With that caveat out of the way, let’s take a look at who BC is scheduled to add to the ranks as freshmen they return for what will hopefully be a normal 2021-22 season this October, with the giant asterisk that all of this is largely unofficial, based on data posted on College Hockey Inc’s commitment website, and subject to change at any time.
Andre Gasseau: The 2003-born prospect from Los Angeles is probably the pick of the prospect bunch among the forward group, ranked in the 70-80 range among 2021 NHL draft prospects. Gasseau is a big guy - 6’4’’, 203 lbs.
He has been part of the USNTDP, playing with them in the USHL this year, and put up big numbers at Shattuck St. Mary’s in ‘19-20 before making the move to the national team development program.
Paul Davey: 2003 birth year, 6’2’’ left-shot winger; moved from traditional Boston College pipeline Avon Old Farms in Connecticut to Des Moines in the USHL this past year, and has done pretty well, posting a line of 8-8—16.
Matt Argentina: The third of three ‘traditional’ 18 year old freshman forwards this season. The 5’11’’ center was a former Notre Dame commit before committing to BC this past fall. He has two USHL seasons under his belt with Waterloo, and has 15 points in 41 games this year. EliteProspects lists him as a 2022 arrival at BC, but College Hockey Inc still lists him as 2021. So that’s TBD.
Jack Dempsey: A 2001 birth year, Dempsey will be 20 by the time he plays his first game. The Natick native is a 6’3’’ winger, and part of a freshman class that’s more laden than usual with New Englanders. Dempsey put up 51 points in 30 games at Dexter Southfield in prep school in ‘19-20 before moving to the Junior Bruins this year.
Connor Joyce: Another older freshman, Joyce is a 2001 birth year from Dedham, and will turn 20 in the offseason. Joyce played at St. Sebastian’s before moving to the Connecticut Jr. Rangers this year, putting up 12 points in 18 games.
Mike Posma: 2001 birth year will turn 20 mid-season (in December). He is in his second year in the USHL, with a solid line of 8-13—21 in 29 games since moving to the Omaha Lancers. 6’0’’ forward listed as being able to play center and wing.
Will Traeger: A smaller forward at 5’7’’, 165 lbs, Traeger will turn 19 this offseason. He played at Shattuck St. Mary’s before moving to the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness this season. He posted 16 points in 36 NAHL games this year.
Aiden Hreschuk: Arguably the top prospect in this year’s class of any position, Hreschuk could go in the first two rounds of the draft. He’s a 5’11’ 18 year old fast-skating blueliner with high-end offensive skill. He has been an assist machine with the USNTDP.
The outlook: There’s good news and bad news here. The good news is that this is a deep class full of players who look like they will be 3-4 year contributors at BC, including a few who should blossom in to good goal scorers and contributors.
Hreschuk adds another weapon to an elite puck-moving defense corps that should only improve with more experience, and will probably be among the nation’s best at providing offense from the blueline, particularly as Warren and Helleson continue to develop.
Additionally, this roster is going to be rebalanced in terms of class years in a way that is healthy for the next few years, particularly with a freshman class and sophomore that doesn’t feature a ton of flight risks.
The bad news is that none of the forwards coming in look to be the kinds of instant offense that Boldy and Newhook brought to the team in 2019-20, meaning there is going to be a huge production gulf that less-heralded players (or incoming transfers) will need to step in to.
The players coming in aren’t going to come close to replicating the production of those who departed on an individual basis. The question is whether the sum of the parts can produce a greater whole.