Saturday, July 23, 2016

BC's Kreider, Hayes Re-Sign with Rangers


A pair of former Boston College Eagles will remain New York Rangers.

Former Eagle forwards Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes, who were teammates on BC’s 2012 NCAA championship team, re-signed Friday with the Rangers, the only NHL club the duo has played for in their professional careers.

Kreider, 25, who was potentially headed to arbitration yesterday for nearly the second time in two years, reportedly signed a deal for four years worth $18.5 million, according to CBC via NHL.com. Hayes, 24, who was himself headed to arbitration next week, signed for two years with an average annual value of $2.6 million, according to NHL.com.

A 6-foot-3, 226-pound native of Boxford, Mass., Kreider, who turned pro following BC's 2012 title run and then helped the Rangers to the NHL's Eastern Conference Final that spring, was also a freshman on the Eagles 2010 national title team.  In three seasons at the Heights, he collected 50 goals and 43 assists for 93 points in 114 games, as stated at uscho.com. In 248 NHL regular-season outings, all with New York, Kreider has tallied 61-68—129 points, to go with 20-13—33 totals in 65 Stanley Cup playoff appearances, according to hockeydb.com.


Hayes, a Dorchester, Mass. native and a 2014 Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist for the top player in NCAA Division I men's hockey, notched 44-88—132 points in 142 career games with the Eagles, including 27-38—65 points as a senior while helping BC to the Frozen Four in Philadelphia that year. In 158 career NHL regular-season contests, all with the Rangers, Hayes has potted 31-50—81 points, plus 2-5—7 points in 22 postseason starts.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

McPhee Tabbed as Inaugural Las Vegas GM


Former Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner George McPhee (Bowling Green) is the new general manager of the as-yet unnamed Las Vegas expansion team that will start National Hockey League play in 2017-18, according to NHL.com.

McPhee, 58, who played seven seasons as a forward in the NHL with the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, appeared in a total of 155 regular-season outings and 29 Stanley Cup playoff contests from 1983 to 1989. He later spent 17 years as GM of the Washington Capitals (1997-2014), guiding the Caps to eight regular seasons of 40 or more wins, and seven Southeast Division crowns, plus the 1998 Stanley Cup Final.

A native of Guelph, Ontario, McPhee won the Hobey Baker Award as a senior at BGSU in 1981-82 when he led the Falcons with 28 goals and 52 assists for 80 points, and also earned All-American and All-CCHA honors, according to BGSU’s athletic website. In four seasons, he racked up 114-153—267 points in 153 NCAA games, including a 40-goal campaign as a freshman in 1978-79 when he played for the late Ron Mason. He also helped the Falcons to two NCAA Tournament berths, two CCHA regular-season titles, and one CCHA playoff championship.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

BC's Sanford Signs with Capitals


Make it seven players now lost for Boston College this offseason.

Rising sophomore forward Zach Sanford became the seventh Eagle to leave the Heights with college eligibility remaining, by signing a three entry-level NHL contract with the Washington Capitals, who drafted him 61st overall in 2013, according to the team website. He has attended four summer development camps with the Capitals, who finished as the top team in the NHL during the 2015-16 regular season.

Sanford, 21, a 6-foot-4, 191-pound skater from Auburn, N.H. leaves BC after tallying 20 goals and 43 assists for 63 points in 79 career games. He recorded career highs of 13-2639 points and 44 penalty minutes to go with with six power-play goals last season as the Eagles shared the Hockey East regular-season title with Providence, and also advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four in Tampa. He joins Ian McCoshen, Steve Santini, Miles Wood, Alex Tuch, Adam Gilmour, and Thatcher Demko in leaving BC early for the pros this year.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

New Jersey's Palmieri Re-Signs with Devils




New Jersey native Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame) has signed a new contract with the New Jersey Devils, whom he led with 57 points last season. The Montvale, N.J. and St. Peter’s Prep product has inked a five-year, $23.25 million deal with the Devils, whom he also led with 30 goals in 2015-16, tying him for the team lead with Adam Henrique.

A restricted free agent, Palmieri had filed for salary arbitration earlier this week, according to NJ.com. He was traded from the Anaheim Ducks to New Jersey last year in exchange for the 41st selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Born in Smithtown, N.Y., Palmieri played one season at Notre Dame, tallying nine goals and eight assists for 17 points in 33 NCAA games with the Fighting Irish in 2009-10, after being drafted 26th overall by Anaheim in 2009. He had skated for the U.S. National Team Development Program after starring at St. Peter’s Prep, and before enrolling at Notre Dame. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound forward turned pro in 2010-11 with Syracuse (AHL), and also made his NHL debut with Anaheim that same season, scoring once in 10 games.

In 280 NHL regular-season outings with the Ducks and Devils, Palmieri, 25, has collected 73-73—146 points and 129 penalty minutes. He has posted 7-5—12 totals in 33 Stanley Cup playoff outings, all with Anaheim, via hockeydb.com. His goal, assist and point totals last season with New Jersey were all NHL career-highs, as were his 82 appearances and 39 penalty minutes.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Backes, Okposo Sign with New NHL Teams


Two notable former NCAA players changed NHL teams on Friday, according to yahoo.com.

Former St. Louis Blues captain David Backes (Minnesota State) signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Boston Bruins, while former New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo (Minnesota) inked a seven-year, $42 million pact with the Buffalo Sabres. Both are leaving the only NHL franchise that each player had known since turning professional, respectively, after both became unrestricted free agents this off-season.

Backes, 32, played three seasons at MSU (2003-2006), tallying 46 goals and 119 points with the Mavericks. In 727 NHL regular-season outings, all with St. Louis, he has posted 206-254460 points and 969 penalty minutes, via hockeydb.com, after being drafted by the Blues in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Okposo, 28, played a year-and-a-half at Minnesota (2006-08), tallying 26 goals and 51 points in 58 outings with the Golden Gophers. Taken seventh overall by the Islanders in 2006, he has registered 139-230369 points and 310 PIM in 529 regular-season NHL games to date.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Canucks to Part Ways with Yale's Higgins


The Vancouver Canucks are poised buy out the contract of former Yale University forward Chris Higgins, according to The Hockey News on Monday. The Smithtown, N.Y. native has been placed on waivers, and should be bought out after no claim is expected to be made for him.

Higgins played two seasons at Yale, collecting 34 goals and 37 assists for 71 points in 55 NCAA games with the Bulldogs from 2001 to 2003, via USCHO.com. The 14th overall selection by Montreal in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, the six-foot, 200-pound skater played four full seasons with the Canadiens before spending a combined year with the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames. He has been with the Canucks since the 2010-11 season, and last year also played in 22 games with Utica (AHL), his first time in the minors since 2004-05 with now-defunct Hamilton (AHL).

In 711 career NHL regular-season outings, Higgins has tallied 165-168—233 points to go with 220 penalty minutes, including his 2007-08 campaign in Montreal where he posted career highs of 27-25—52 points, according to HockeyDB.com. In 62 Stanley Cup playoff contests with Montreal and Vancouver, he has recorded 11-10—21 points, and had a career-best 4-4—8 points in 25 games his first season with the Canucks as they came within one win of a Stanley Cup title.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

NCAA Selections Abound at 2016 NHL Draft


 
Current and incoming NCAA players figured heavily into Friday night's first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Entry Draft in Buffalo.
Among a record 12 Americans taken amongst the first 30 selections were Clayton Keller, who is headed to Boston University this fall and was chosen seventh overall by the Arizona Coyotes. Future BU teammate Charlie McAvoy went 14th to the Boston Bruins, while Wisconsin's Luke Kunin went next to the Minnesota Wild. Tage Thompson of UConn was chosen 26th overall by the St. Louis Blues.

The second round on Saturday started off with Notre Dame recruits Andrew Peeke (34th) and Cam Morrison (40th) going to the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Colorado Avalanche, respectively. According to CollegeHockeyInc.com, a total of 61 players with NCAA ties heard their names called this weekend.
BU led all schools with six selections overall, followed by North Dakota and Wisconsin with five draftees apiece. Providence saw four of its players taken in the two-day event, while Boston College, Denver, Michigan, Northeastern, Notre Dame and Omaha each had three skaters selected.

A full, sortable list of selections can be found here.