After the past 2 years of disappointing finishes and missing the NCAA tournament, Boston University comes into the 2011-2012 season stacked with talent. Losing only three players (one to graduation, one to early signing, and one to dismissal) means that BU returns almost all of it’s scoring power, it’s entire defense and goaltending, and will likely improve upon it’s 3rd place finish this year.
In the forward corp, BU loses Captain Michael Pereira, who had a 15-6-21 line, and Andrew Glass, who was dismissed halfway through the season, and had a 2-3-5 line. Glass wasn’t a major contributor and isn’t a big loss. Pereira is a bigger loss, but one that can be filled. Pereira was only 9th in scoring on the team. To replace them, BU brings in Cason Hohmann from the USHL and Evan Rodrigues from the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL). Hohmann is a big offensive player and will likely contribute immediately. They also have Yasin Cisse, who preformed well in the USHL (and was sidelined with an injury last year), who will likely jump into the lineup. In terms of players stepping up their game, there is a multitude who will do that. Look for Alex Chiasson, Chris Connolly and Corey Trivino to take charge as upperclassmen. Sophomores Charlie Coyle, Matt Nieto, and Shair Gill will look to improve upon solid freshman years and contribute more.
Defensively, BU loses only one, David Warsofsky, who signed with the Bruins early. Warsofsky is a significant loss, as he often ran their powerplay and was a solid contributor, with a 7-15-22 line, good for 8th overall on the team. BU returns their other 5 regular d-men. Look for Adam Clendening to have a big season, as he will likely replace Warsofsky as top offensive-defenseman on the team. BU also brings in Alexx Privitera, who had a good season in the USHL and will also provide some offensive punch on the blue line.
Finally, the goalie position. This is essentially unchanged from last year. Look for Millan, in his senior year, to have a big year, as he’ll be helped by a veteran blueline, and will also be playing for his future.
Overall, BU returns a veteran team that has played together for a year and has only a few changes to it. With so many players poised for breakout seasons, they could explode this year and will likely grab the Hockey East regular season title.
Update: From the Boston Hockey Blog, Yasin Cisse is suffering from a concussion, and is ankle injury is still not completely solved. Ryan Ruikka is also injured for at least 3 weeks.