By Marisa Ingemi
BU News Service
Four members of the Boston University mens’ hockey team were selected in the first round of Friday’s NHL Amateur Entry Draft, including defenseman Charlie McAvoy going to the Boston Bruins.
McAvoy, heading into his sophomore season with the Terriers, is the third BU player in the Bruins organization. The Terriers are now the second team to ever have four members of the organization drafted in the first round, along with Minnesota in 2007.
Clayton Keller, an incoming freshman, was the first prospective Terrier to be drafted when the Arizona Coyotes selected him with their seventh overall pick. Keller, also property of the OHL’s Windosr Spitfires, is one of the top incoming freshmen in the country. The Coyotes said that Keller was a player that they had targeted all along, and BU head coach David Quinn said he had Keller projected as a top five selection.
Keller had 107 points in 62 games with the United States developmental team this year, and scored 14 points in seven games at the World Junior Championships.
McAvoy was the next Terrier to go at #14, where he was reunited with Bruins prospect and his former defensive partner, Matt Grzelcyk. The Bruins also boast current Terriers’ center Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson, and within a few years could have all of them playing on Garden ice.
Incoming freshman defenseman Dante Fabbro was selected by the Nashville Predators with the 17th overall pick. Fabbro, who led the Penticton Vees to a historic regular season in the BCHL, is projected to be a top four blueliner right away at BU. The 18-year-old led the Vees to a title with a 67 point output, and is known as a two-way defenseman.
With the 19th overall selection, incoming BU freshman Kiefer Bellows went to the New York Islanders, the same organization that drafted current BU defenseman Doyle Somerby. Bellows is known as a pure goal scorer, scoring 50 goals with the US Developmental Team. As a power-forward, Bellows wins battles and competes hard, with the ability to finish around the net. He’ll have a few years at BU before he’s ready to make the leap to the Islanders.
Chad Krys was the first future Terrier to be selected outside of the first round when he was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round. The defenseman picked up 29 points in 52 games with the USA Developmental Team, 26 of which were assists. He projects as a top four defenseman in the NHL, but might need all of his time at BU to develop into that player for the Blackhawks.
Patrick Harper went in the fifth round at #138 overall where he joins former Terrier Colin Wilson as a part of the Nashville Predators organization, along with Fabbro. The diminutive Connecticut native had 32 points in 13 games with Avon Old Farms Prep School.
These six join five Terriers already selected to NHL teams. The graduating class of 2016 has already found pro success as well, with goalie Sean Maguire joining the Pittsburgh Penguins AHL club, Ahti Oksanen signing with the Hartford Wolfpack, and Danny O’Regan in the San Jose Sharks organization.