Once again, Boston College hockey anxiously awaits the arrival of a highly-touted recruiting class this fall, with reinforcements on the way expected to bolster the offense and add depth to the team in 2015-16. BC fans are getting a taste of what may come in following three BC recruits - Jeremy Bracco, Colin White, and Casey Fitzgerald - as they compete for the United States in the IIHF Under-18 World Championships, currently taking place in Switzerland.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Americans hammered Germany 13-1 to wrap up the group stage and finish in second place in Pool A with a 3-1 record. After dropping a tight first game to Russia 3-1 after the Russians scored a late empty net goal, the Americans went scorched earth on the competition, outscoring Slovakia, Sweden and Germany by a combined score of 29-5.
The US now advances to the quarterfinals, where they will face the Czech Republic tomorrow morning at 8:45 AM.
Jeremy Bracco has been one of the brightest lights for the US at the tournament. Bracco's four point day against Germany brought him to 7 points overall for the tournament so far in four games. Bracco, an electrifying, 5'9'' forward from Freeport, NY, is a prized recruit for the upcoming season, and a potential first round pick in this summer's NHL draft. This past season, Bracco broke Patrick Kane's record for points by a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program.
Colin White scored in the win over Germany as well, giving him two goals and four points in the competition. A Massachusetts native, White is another player expected to be a major contributor for BC next year, combining his considerable skill with size (6'0'') and the ability to play center, a position of need for the Eagles. White is also a potential first round pick this summer.
Casey Fitzgerald, the younger brother of BC's Ryan Fitzgerald, s coming in as a defenseman next season; he has three points so far for the US. A strong two-way defenseman, Fitzgerald had 21 points in 50 games this year for the US U-18s.
A pair of wildcards to keep an eye on lead the US in scoring - Auston Mathews (10 points) and Matt Tkachuk (8 points). Mathews and Tkachuk are two of the very top prospects in the 2016 draft. They are also both very notably not committed to any team for next year, and BC remains in the picture for both.
It is expected that both will end up playing major junior next year, but as long as the college route remains an option, they would both be huge impact players next year and BC would love to add either one of them. Tkachuk's father, Keith, played at BU, but Tkachuk is also cousins with the Fitzgeralds and the Hayes brothers. He has had BC on his radar screen ever since he decommitted from Notre Dame last fall.
Should the US advance to the Semfinals, they will play on Saturday, with the bronze and gold medal games on Sunday; you can find the schedule here.