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A Surprising Start To Early Departure Season For Boston College Hockey

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Frozen Four weekend is done; where do things stand with BC's flight risks?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Call it the curse of Grant. Or probably more accurately, the Vesey effect. Either way, "early departure season" has not gone as expected so far for Boston College hockey.

When Grant and I chatted after the national semifinal and talked about the article he'd write guessing who might leave early to go pro, we both settled on two names as absolute slam dunks: Thatcher Demko and Ian McCoshen. It was well known that Vancouver GM Jim Benning was making the trip to Tampa to discuss terms with Demko in person. And McCoshen was just a quick jaunt to Miami away from beginning his NHL career; he certainly seems ready for the step up.

Neither one of us really thought Miles Wood and Steve Santini would be the first two dominoes to fall, but the New Jersey Devils aggressively made moves to lock up their two BC prospects. While Wood seems to need some polishing before he'll be ready for heavy ice time at the NHL level, the Devils seemed to see the value in locking him up before he could hit UFA status next summer. Ditto for Santini.

As for Thatcher Demko, he has surprisingly signaled that he's on the fence about whether to return or not. Pretty much everyone agrees that he's ready to go, and the conventional wisdom was that he would sign. His hesitance could be part of negotiating strategy with Vancouver, but he's already lost the ability to burn a year off his ELC as the Canucks season is now over.

It's more likely that Demko is tempted at least somewhat by the possibility of returning to gun for a national title at BC - with the added bonus of being just a few months away from UFA status next summer if he's not happy with what Vancouver is saying about his future.

Ian McCoshen has also not yet signed with Florida, and there seems to be very little Twitter chatter about him to boot. With the Panthers gearing up for a playoff run, that seems to have the attention of what little media covers them.

Meanwhile, the other two highest-level flight risks - Colin White and Alex Tuch - have also not moved toward going pro. Alex Tuch has said that following the emotions of the loss, he needs more time to think about his decision. Expect resolution on that one sooner rather than later, as Minnesota would likely love to get him in the fold - but they do have another summer of exclusivity with him next year if they don't sign him this year.

Colin White sure sounded like a flight risk in his quotes to the Ottawa press last week. But with news that the Senators are firing their coach and their GM, this will likely delay any talks with White until after a new regime comes in. Hopefully the instability leads White to want to stay.

As for others, Adam Gilmour said turning pro is "a conversation I'll have to have in the next week or so," but was noncommittal about whether he was leaning in a specific direction. There's pretty much no chatter about Chris Calnan,  who battled injuries all year.

The general consensus is that Ryan Fitzgerald will return for next year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him wearing the "C" when the team announces next year's captains (likely very soon). That announcement should give us some more insight in to who may stay and who will go, as early departure season rolls on.