BC Hockey teased a major announcement Monday evening about next year's roster, and as many expected, they revealed the captains for the 2015-2016 BC Hockey team:
The announcement was as important for what it omitted as much as what it revealed: Michael Matheson, who served as the Eagles' captain for the 2014-2015 season, was not listed among next year's leaders, making it all but official that the junior will forego his senior season and sign with the Florida Panthers.
BC announcement of new captains confirm what most have assumed for months. Michael Matheson will forgo senior season and sign with Florida.— Jeff Cox (@JeffCoxSports) March 30, 2015
It's disappointing to see Matheson go, but as we made clear two summers ago, we're thrilled to see him complete his junior year to set himself up to complete his degree.
It's time to move forward to next year's BC team. Teddy Doherty was named captain—a fantastic, incredibly deserving choice—but as an undrafted player was not a flight risk.
Other than Matheson, the rest of BC's group of drafted players are all underclassmen.
Freshmen Alex Tuch and Noah Hanifin are the biggest question marks. Tuch was already drafted in the first round and Hanifin is expected to be #3 overall in this year's draft. The big watch over the offseason will be to see what happens with them.
Next up on the list of flight risks is probably Thatcher Demko, drafted at the beginning of the 2nd round by Vancouver. Given that Demko is expected to have hip surgery in the offseason, it is very unlikely that Vancouver will want to take a risk of him having a setback while on their dime. Expect the Canucks to have Demko stay at the Heights at least one more season while they make sure he fully recovers.
Sophomores Chris Calnan, Steve Santini, and Ian McCoshen were all named alternate captains, seemingly confirming their intent to return for their junior year. There were worries about Santini and McCoshen in particular, but they will be back next season.
That leaves Ryan Fitzgerald, Adam Gilmour, and Zach Sanford as BC's remaining drafted players. The Kid is already reporting that Sanford and Calnan will be back next season...
Dots is captain. McCoshen and Santini staying. Same with calnan. See you in Tampa. WOOOOOOOO ABSOLUTELY HUGE !!!!— BC Hockey Blog (@bchockeyblog1) March 30, 2015
Forgot to mention that Sanford is back to. My bad.— BC Hockey Blog (@bchockeyblog1) March 31, 2015
...which left only Fitzgerald unaccounted for:
@Salzano14 yes— BC Hockey Blog (@bchockeyblog1) March 31, 2015
Well, that settles that.
So it appears that the core of BC's talented underclass will be back next season. We'll need to keep an eye out for Tuch and Hanifin as the summer progresses, and make sure we don't have another Sonny Milano situation with the ridiculous freshman class expected to arrive, but at least at this point, BC is looking like it should be reloaded and ready for a run next season.