Boston Beanpot Preview

Josh Tessler

2020-02-02

Cayden Primeau makes a spectacular save against Aapeli Räsänen at last year’s Beanpot. Photo courtesy of https://www.collegehockeynews.com/

 

On Monday afternoon, the 68th Annual Beanpot Tournament will kick off at TD
Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Northeastern University will take on Harvard
University at 5:00 pm EST and then Boston College will face their nemesis Boston
University at 8:00 pm EST.

 

The other day, Brian Kelley, the Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and
Communications at Boston University Athletics tweeted that this year’s Beanpot will be
televised across Canada and the United States. For a while now, Beanpot has mainly
had only local coverage, but this year, the event organizers are changing things up. Not
only will hockey fans in New England be able to watch Beanpot on NESN, but
Americans from coast-to-coast will have the opportunity to tune in on NHL Network and
Canadians from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island can tune in on TSN2.

 

Harvard

 

In the first game, as mentioned above, the Harvard Crimson will be facing the
Northeastern Huskies. At the moment, the Crimson are in third place in the ECAC
hockey standings. Clarkson and Cornell have slightly better records, but the Crimson
have the talent to leap past them. Casey Dornbach (No NHL Rights), Nicholas
Abruzzese (Toronto Maple Leafs prospect), Jack Drury (Carolina Hurricanes prospect)
and John Farinacci (Arizona Coyotes prospect) has been leading the charge in the
offensive zone. Between the four forwards, they have combined for 39 goals and 61
assists.

If I had to pick one forward to keep an eye on, it is Abruzzese. Recently, I wrote a
prospect breakdown on the Maple Leafs prospect for a new up and coming Leafs blog
site, The Leafs Beat. While Abruzzese was an over-ager selection in the 2019 NHL
Entry Draft, he has certainly remained rather consistent with his offensive production
and the Maple Leafs might have a diamond in the rough. It is still early in his
development, but it is great to see how the Slate Hill, New York native has evolved
since his first season (2017-18) in the USHL with the Chicago Steel.
In the defensive zone, the Crimson are led by Jack Rathbone (Vancouver
Canucks prospect), Reilly Walsh (New Jersey Devils prospect) and Henry Thrun
(Anaheim Ducks prospect).

Rathbone is an exciting left-handed defenseman to watch out for. At his current
pace, the West Roxbury, Massachusetts native is set to lap his point totals from last
season. In 17 games played this season, Rathbone has tallied four goals and 14
assists. He has missed a few games due to an upper-body injury, but the 20-year-old
returned to the lineup on Friday night against Union College in Schenectady, New York.
Below are some video highlights of Rathbone. In the first video clip, we see
Rathbone completes a saucer pass from his own zone to the neutral zone. The pass
paves the way for a Harvard goal.

 

 

In the second clip, Rathbone is rushing up the ice on the penalty kill. He is
deploying a wide stride in order to get to the slot at a fast rate. Once in the slot, he
collects a pass and tries to stickhandle around the net-minder, but his shot ends up
going wide.

 

 

In the last video, you can take a look at a few clips of Rathbone from Harvard’s
November 1 st matchup against Dartmouth. In Daniel Gee (@DanielGScouting)’s video footage,
you can check out his two-goal performance. Both goals came in the slot. Rathbone is
dangerous with the puck in the slot. When you check out his second goal of the game, pay close
attention to his shot fake as that paves the way for Rathbone to create some space and then
take a shot.

 

 

Harvard’s NHL Drafted Prospects 
Nicholas Abruzzese – Toronto Maple Leafs – #16, LW
Jack Badini – Anaheim Ducks – #33, C
Jack Drury – Carolina Hurricanes – #18, C
John Farinacci – Arizona Coyotes – #17, C
Mitchell Gibson – Washington Capitals – #44, G
Henry Thrun – Anaheim Ducks – #77, LHD
Austin Wong – Winnipeg Jets – #27, RW
Reilly Walsh – New Jersey Devils – #2, RHD
Jack Rathbone – Vancouver Canucks – #3, LHD

 

NORTHEASTERN

 

The Northeastern Huskies have a record of 14-7-2, but January has not been
kind for the Huskies. They had a couple of tough losses in overtime against the
University of New Hampshire Wildcats on January 11th and the University of Connecticut
Huskies on January 18th.

The Huskies biggest challenge has been in net. Craig Pantano (No NHL Rights)
transferred to Northeastern prior to the season. Before coming to Northeastern, he had
manned the pipes for Merrimack College. So far this season, Pantano has a 2.41 GAA
and a .914 SV% in 22 appearances. While Pantano has been rather solid in net for the
Huskies, he cannot replace Cayden Primeau (Montreal Canadiens prospect).

Even though Pantano might not be as talented as Primeau, the Huskies have a
strong defensive core. Jordan Harris (Montreal Canadiens prospect), Jayden Struble
(Montreal Canadiens prospect), Michael Kesselring (Edmonton Oilers prospect), Ryan
Shea (Chicago Blackhawks prospect) and Jérémie Bucheler (Draft eligible prospect)
provide Pantano with a nice brick wall. While the defensive unit is a very strong one,
Harris is one stride above everyone else. In 21 games this season, the Haverhill,
Massachusetts native has recorded three goals and 12 assists.

 

In the two clips below, you can check out a couple of Harris highlights. In the first
clip, Harris scores a penalty shot goal against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Minutemen. Harris deploys quality edges as he skates from center ice to the left of the
offensive zone and then towards the net. Once Harris gets to the net, he shoots the
puck five-hole past the Minutemen net-minder.

 

 

In the second clip, we find Harris in the slot. He skates laterally to the left, fires a
shot and Brendan Van Riemsdyk (James Van Riemsdyk’s brother) deflects the puck
into the net.

 

 

In the offensive zone, the Huskies have a solid forward group. Tyler Madden (Vancouver
Canucks prospect), Zach Solow (No NHL Rights), Aidan McDonough (Vancouver Canucks
prospect) and Matt Filipe (Carolina Hurricanes prospect) are leading the charge. But, in
particular, Madden has been unstoppable. In 22 games played, former New Jersey Devils
forward John Madden’s son has mustered up 17 goals and 16 assists.

 

Recently, I took a look at a few shifts of Madden in a November matchup against the
Providence College Friars. When you take a look at those shifts, you will see just how
remarkable Madden is. He is an elite skater, who makes tight turns and has a long stride that
allows him to speed up and down the ice.

 

Northeastern’s NHL Prospects and Draft Eligible Prospects
Jordan Harris – Montreal Canadiens – #2, LHD
Jérémie Bucheler – Draft Eligible – #4, RHD
Tyler Madden – Vancouver Canucks – #9, C
TJ Walsh – Draft Eligible – #13, LW
Jayden Struble – Montreal Canadiens – #3, LHD
Riley Hughes – New York Rangers – #19, RW
Aidan McDonough – Vancouver Canucks – #25, LW
Matt Filipe – Carolina Hurricanes – #17, C/LW
Ryan Shea – Chicago Blackhawks – #5, LHD
Michael Kesselring – Edmonton Oilers – #23, RHD

 

BOSTON COLLEGE

 

Boston College (16-7-0) did an outstanding job recruiting and it has paid off.
Head Coach Jerry York and his staff landed a bunch of solid USNTDP and BCHL talent.
Through their recruiting efforts, Boston College landed Alex Newhook (Colorado
Avalanche prospect), Matthew Boldy (Minnesota Wild prospect), Marshall Warren
(Minnesota Wild prospect), Drew Helleson (Colorado Avalanche prospect) and Spencer
Knight (Florida Panthers prospect).

With their depth, Boston College easily has the best talent on paper in the
Hockey East and quite possibly the best collegiate team across the NCAA.
If I had to pick two players to watch out for at the Beanpot it is Newhook and
Knight. While Newhook is not the point leader for Boston College and is not the goal
leader, the 19-year-old Saint John’s, Newfoundland native is arguably the skater with
the most talent. Last season, Newhook led the BCHL in scoring.

 

He managed to tally 102 points, which helped him secure the Brett Hull Trophy. Unfortunately, it took
Newhook some time to get his feet wet in the NCAA after a remarkable season. He was
held off the scoresheet in his first three collegiate games (against the University of
Wisconsin, Colgate University and the University of Denver). On October 19th, in the
second game of a back-to-back against the University of Denver he scored his first
collegiate goal. Since that point, he has not looked back.

Below are two clips of Newhook from a contest against the University of Maine
on January 25th. In the first clip, you will see Newhook showing off his wide stride as he
propels himself from zone to zone. At the tail end of the shift, he gets jammed along the
boards with the puck and turns it over. But, his skating in this clip is outstanding. He
deploys a long wide stride.

 

 

 

 

In the second clip, we get a glimpse of Newhook putting pressure along the boards in
the offensive zone. He loves to forecheck.

 

 

 

As mentioned prior, Knight is another player to keep your eyes on. The former
USNTDP goaltender is having a great freshman season at BC. In 22 appearances, he
has a 1.95 GAA and a .931 SV%. He has the third-lowest GAA in Hockey East. Filip
Lindberg (Minnesota Wild prospect, UMass-Amherst) and Matthew Murray (No NHL
Rights, UMass-Amherst) have lower GAAs, but both have played fewer games in net
than Knight.

Below are a couple of GIFs that Steven Ellis of The Hockey News tweeted out
from August. These clips are from the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth,
Michigan. Knight seemed to be tough to beat even in high traffic situations. The only
negative in these clips is when Knight overextends his right pad on the Kirby Dach
(Chicago Blackhawks) shot.

 

 

 

Boston College’s NHL Prospects
Logan Hutsko – Florida Panthers – #9, RW
Aapeli Räsänen – Edmonton Oilers – #22, C
Alex Newhook – Colorado Avalanche – #18, C
Matthew Boldy – Minnesota Wild – #12, LW
Marshall Warren – Minnesota Wild – #5, LHD
Drew Helleson – Colorado Avalanche – #4, RHD
Jack McBain – Minnesota Wild – #11, C
Michael Karow – Arizona Coyotes – #2, LHD
Graham McPhee – Edmonton Oilers – #27, LW
David Cotton – Carolina Hurricanes – #17, C
Ben Finkelstein – Florida Panthers – #6, RHD
Spencer Knight – Florida Panthers – #30, G

 

BOSTON UNIVERSITY

 

Last but not least, we have Boston University (10-8-6). The Boston University Terriers are on a mission to re-gain bragging rights after they have watched Boston College, Harvard University and Northeastern University steal the show over the past few Beanpots. The last time that Boston University won Beanpot was back in 2015.

 

This season, the Terriers’ leading scorer is David Farrance (Nashville Predators
prospect). The 2017 third-round selection is having his best collegiate season (junior
year). In 24 games played, the left-handed defenseman has recorded 11 goals and 18
assists. He has the most points for a defenseman in Hockey East this season and is
one point behind Mike Lee (NO NHL Rights, Sacred Heart University), who leads the
NCAA in points as a defenseman. It was not long that another Nashville Predators
defensive prospect was tearing it up for Boston University. Dante Fabbro (Nashville
Predators prospect) was an unstoppable force in his junior season for the Terriers. Just
like Fabbro, Farrance is a strong puck-moving defenseman and is truly a dynamic
special teams asset.

 

In the two clips below, you will see just how special Farrance is. In the first clip,
Farrance parks himself high up in the slot against the University of Massachusetts-
Amherst on a BU powerplay. His teammate Robert Mastrosimone (Detroit Red Wings
prospect) finds Farrance in the slot and Farrance manages to get the puck past
Lindberg.

 

 

In the second clip, you can check out how effective Farrance is when he completes a
stretch pass. While this footage is a year old (2019 Beanpot), Farrance has not lost his touch. He
delivers a perfectly timed stretch pass to Joel Farabee (Philadelphia Flyers prospect), who
manages to skate up the ice and score a breakaway goal.

 

 

Aside from Farrance, another NHL drafted prospect that you should be looking out for is
Trevor Zegras (Anaheim Ducks prospect). In 23 games played, Zegras has mustered up eight
goals and 18 assists. In addition, Zegras has a pNHLe of 65 and an NHLe of 36. While Zegras is
more of a natural play-maker than a goal scorer, he has a quick release shot and can burn
opposing goaltenders consistently in the slot. On Friday night, Zegras had a crisp shot from the
faceoff hash marks which gave the Terriers a 3-2 lead over the University of Vermont with less
than four minutes left on the clock.

 

 

In addition, Zegras was electric at the 2020 World Junior Championships in the Czech
Republic. In five World Junior games, he managed to muster up nine assists. Below is a tweet
from @HeresYourReplay and you can check out a few of his assists from tournament play.
What you will notice quickly is that Zegras loves to utilize his 360-degree turn to buy him some
more room before delivering a pass. In a nutshell, Zegras can make magic happen even in heavy
traffic situations.

 

 

 

Boston University’s NHL Prospects
Case McCarthy – New Jersey Devils, #2, RHD
David Farrance – Nashville Predators, #4, LHD
Cameron Crotty – Arizona Coyotes, #5, RHD
Alex Vlasic – Chicago Blackhawks, #7, LHD
Logan Cockerill – New York Islanders – #9, LW/RW
Trevor Zegras – Anaheim Ducks – #13, C/W
Robert Mastrosimone – Detroit Red Wings – #16, C/LW
Jake Wise – Chicago Blackhawks, #17, C
Patrick Harper – Nashville Predators, #21, C
Domenick Fensore – Carolina Hurricanes – #23, LHD
Kasper Kotkansalo – Detroit Red Wings – #26, LHD
Ethan Phillips – Detroit Red Wings – #28, RW

 

There is a ton of talent competing in Beanpot. Every year brings a new and exciting event with NHL talent on display. Given the amount of talent that Boston College has, it seems like the Eagles have the best shot of taking home another Beanpot victory but anything can happen.

 

 

LATEST PROFILE UPDATES

Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
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Keean Washkurak 6.5 5.0
Joshua Ho-Sang 6.8 5.0
Tim Stuetzle 9.5 9.9
Filip Chlapik 5.0 7.5
Jayce Hawryluk 5.8 7.0
Timothy Liljegren 7.0 8.5

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