Official Press Release: http://gonu.com/news/2011/8/17/MHOCKEY_0817114407.aspx?path=mhockey
Northeastern has hired Jerry Keefe, an assistant coach from Brown University, and Patrick Foley, an assistant coach from Harvard University to be the assistant coaches for Northeastern.
Of note is the emphasis on Team USA experience both coaches have, both have served extensively within the Team USA structure. This will be helpful considering how deep the USA Hockey Organization is involved with all aspects of American hockey. They run all sorts of festivals, tournaments, training camps and the like every year. I’m guessing these two coaches have a lot of connections within the USA Hockey structure that will prove fruitful for our recruiting.
What remains to be seen is how connected they are to Canadian players. Looking at the recruiting pages for 2011 and beyond, Brown and Harvard have a pretty wide range of recruits. Both have a significant number of prep school players, and a smattering of players from the US-based Eastern Junior Hockey League and the United States Hockey League, as well as Canadian based British Columbia Hockey League and Ontario Junior Hockey League. Having these two guys will likely help recruit prep school players who will come to college right out of high school (an area BU and BC usually dominate in New England).
In terms of coaching, Foley was 3 time captain for UNH, a rare feat that sugests he has some great leadership qualities. Foley worked with the defense and special teams at Harvard, so it’s a good guess he’ll serve in that capacity here. The past year Harvard was second in the ECAC in terms power play goals against, but was poor in terms of defense, ranking 7th in goals against, and 6th in the power play. The year before Harvard was 4th in PPGA, 4th in goals against, and 5th in shots allowed.
Keefe will presumably be in charge of the offense, but Brown’s offense has put up pretty uninspiring numbers recently. In the 2010-2011 season, Brown ranked 7th in terms of goals per game (8th in league play), and 4th in shots per game (8th in league play). 2009-2010, the first year he was in charge, wasn’t much better, clocking in at 9th in goals per game (8th in conference) and 7th in shots on goal (8th in conference). Interestingly, this is actually an improvement from before he arrived, when Brown averaged less than 2 goals per game, and the year he arrived it increased by nearly a full goal, so hopefully he knows something about improving the offense, which will be needed considering we’ve lost our top 4 point-scorers.
The ECAC is very different from Hockey East, and while it looks like they have some very good recruiting credentials, I’m more interested in what they can do this year with the talent we have.