It was reported last week (while I was on vacation, of course) that Boston College incoming freshman forward Sonny Milano decided to instead sign with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers, as reported at uscho.com. He was the Columbus Blue Jackets first-round draft choice (16th overall) at this year's NHL Entry Draft in Philadelphia.
Truthfully, I never believed that Milano, who had originally committed to Notre Dame, was ever going to wind up in Chestnut Hill. He possesses superlative skills, particularly stickhandling, but scouting reports have also said he often overhandles the puck and tries to do too much out on the ice. Maybe BC head coach Jerry York could have weaned him off of that, and also made him a better all-around player.
Though Milano said several times that he was committed to BC, I felt I'd only fully believe it when I saw him suited up in maroon and gold. He could have developed just as well playing at Conte Forum for a year or two instead of jumping right away to major junior—but now we’ll never know.
Honestly, I’m more excited about Milano’s former U.S. National Team Development Program teammate Alex Tuch joining the Eagles this season. They need more big bodies up front to crash the boards and the net, and the Minnesota Wild’s first-round selection (18th overall) this year has good size (6-foot-3, 213 lbs.) and possesses a rocket shot. He should do well in supplementing BC’s usual crop of smaller, skilled forwards.
Mike Vellucci of Plymouth is a good coach and should get a lot out of Milano, who simply may have also just wanted to play hockey and not deal with the academic side of the college hockey equation. While he’s chasing a Memorial Cup, though, Milano may wonder “what if” himself, especially if the Eagles secure another NCAA championship or two over the next few years.