College hockey success is tradition at Boston University, which since beginning play in 1918 has made 21 trips to the NCAA Frozen Four while capturing the national championship crown five times. The most recent of these titles came in 2009 under former long-tenured head coach Jack Parker, BU’s all-time winningest coach. However since then, BU has managed only one NCAA tournament berth in five seasons and has seen the changing of hands from Parker to new coach David Quinn. This was a tumultuous transition last year which led to BU’s worst season since 1962-63 in terms of winning percentage (10-21-4, .343).
Going into this year, all eyes have been on top recruit Jack Eichel, an American forward from the National Team Development Program who was the youngest player to compete in the World Junior Championships for the USA last winter. The freshman forward has excelled thus far, leading the Terriers through five games with nine points (4-5-9) while skating on a top line with standout junior forwards Danny O’Regan and Ahti Oksanen. Their efforts have combined to lead BU to a 4-1-0 start including a dominant 8-1 win away at Massachusetts, a win each against Michigan and Michigan State and a split record against conference rival Providence this weekend, who entered the season ranked No. 3 in the country. This early success and sign of potential is exciting for fans who hope to see this storied program return to its spot in college hockey royalty, and they could be doing so soon if Eichel can maintain this elite level of play. Considered by many to be the second prospect in next year’s NHL draft behind Phenom Connor McDavid, there is no telling how long this kid will need before making the jump to professional hockey, so Agganis Arena should be buzzing all winter anytime the Terriers are at home.