Last year, the preseason expectation for Boston College hockey was that they'd take a step back following the departure of their entire first line. The Eagles ended up playing pretty much exactly to those expectations.
This year, however, there's a bit of preseason buzz about the Eagles.
The Hockey East Writers and Broadcasters Association, of which both of us are a part, released its 2015-2016 preseason poll this weekend, and tabbed BC as the favorite to win the Hockey East championship. BC got 20 of 35 first place votes in the poll.
Despite the early departures of defensemen Michael Matheson and Noah Hanifin, there's a sense that BC's three highly touted freshman forwards & a healthy Thatcher Demko could make the Eagles a force to be reckoned with this season. If Miles Wood, Colin White and the yes-actually-here Jeremy Bracco live up to expectations, BC should be able to roll three scoring lines, something they were never able to do last season.
Forward Alex Tuch, defenseman Ian McCoshen and goaltender Thatcher Demko were also named to the HEWBA's preseason all-Hockey East first team.
For what it's worth, neither one of us voted for BC as first place on our ballot. We'll tell you who we did vote for, where we picked BC, and some of our early thoughts on the league later this week in the first preseason edition of Hockey Banter. How's that for a teaser?!
Here's the full poll:
1. Boston College (20) 397
2. Boston University (7) 374
3. Massachusetts-Lowell (5) 344
4. Providence (2) 328
5. Notre Dame (1) 250
6. Vermont 237
7. Northeastern 217
8. New Hampshire 187
9. Connecticut 142
10. Merrimack 119
11. Maine 87
12. Massachusetts 48
F Tyler Kelleher (Jr., New Hampshire)
F Danny O'Regan (Sr., Boston University)
F Kevin Roy (Sr., Northeastern)
F Alex Tuch (So., Boston College)
D Matt Grzelcyk (Sr., Boston University)
D Ian McCoshen (Jr., Boston College)
G Thatcher Demko (Jr., Boston College)
*Hey, that team has too many men on the ice.