Greg Brown is working through his first recruiting period as BC men’s hockey head coach, and the Eagles have landed three commitments for the incoming class of 2024 - most recently forward Landan Resendes, who announced his commitment yesterday.
Where does this leave BC’s projected roster over the next few years, and where might the needs be as Brown builds his roster through both the recruit pipeline and the transfer portal?
Let’s take a look. Note, btw, that the extra COVID year of eligibility will still potentially impact graduation years for some of these players.
Projected losses from graduation:
Forward - Liam Izyk, Cam Burke, Christian O’Neill
Defense - Mitch Andres, Marshall Warren
Goalies - Mitch Benson, Jack Moffatt
Likely early departures:
Forward: Cutter Gauthier
Will Smith (4.75 star, #2 recruit nationally, per Neutral Zone)
Ryan Leonard (4.5 star, #6 nationally)
Will Vote (4.25 star)
Timmy Delay (4 star)
Connor Welsh (4 star)
Justin Solovey (3.75 star)* [*Neutral Zone lists Solovey as a 2024 arrival, College Hockey Inc.’s site lists him as 2023]
Aram Minnetian (4.5 star, 5th-rated recruit nationally per Neutral Zone)
Drew Fortescue (4 star)
Nolan Joyce (4 star)
Dylan Silverstein (4 star)
Jan Korec (3.5 star)
2023-24 should, theoretically, be a pretty important year for the Eagles - one where incoming production should top what’s lost to graduation.
While Cutter Gauthier is not likely to stay longer than one year, ‘23-24 would be the senior year for Nikita Nesterenko, Colby Ambrosio, and Trevor Kuntar, presuming they all stay, along with hopeful progression of defensemen like Eamon Powell, Aidan Hreschuk, Charlie Leddy and Lukas Gustafsson in to a reliable core.
This means the ‘23-’24 Eagles would have, on paper, a highly skilled defense, along with three drafted senior forwards, and rising sophomore forwards like Jellvik and Gasseau who should be solid contributors.
Layer on top of that a monster recruiting class with potential high-scoring forwards - Jerry York’s farewell gift to us? - and this should be a year when BC is looking to contend nationally, especially if the goaltending situation pans out.
One thing to keep in mind here is that BC currently projects to have 28 players on the roster in ‘23-24 barring surprise early departures, so one would expect that to trim down either by delaying arrivals, or with transfers out.
Projected losses from graduation:
Forward - Colby Ambrosio, Trevor Kuntar, Nikita Nesterenko, Gentry Shamburger
Defense - Eamon Powell
Goalie - Henry Wilder
Potential flight risks: Will Smith, Ryan Leonard, Aidan Hreschuk
Teddy Stiga (4.5 star)
Matthew Frost (4.25 star)
Landan Resendes (3.75 star)
Much like ‘23-’24, this is a roster that looks to be fairly on-track assuming most of the players stay. The Eagles are currently projected to have 4 or 5 NHL draft pick defensemen on the roster in 2024-25, along with a solid group of sophomore and junior forwards being complemented by incoming freshmen Stiga and Frost.
In terms of needs to keep an eye on, presumably for roster balance you’d want to land at least one defenseman for this birth year. The Eagles are also projected to be lacking veteran scorers in 2024-25, with much of the high-powered offense looking to be from freshmen and sophomores, so that might be a year where you’d see more activity on the grad transfer front.