Of the 27 members on the 2008-09 championship team, only 11 remain. The core of that team broke up during the last two offseasons, with many stars leaving school to make an early jump to the pros. If the Terriers hope to make a run this year, they'll have to lean on the talent and experience of the only returning 20-plus point scorers — Chris Connolly, Joe Pereira and David Warsofsky.
Pereira, a senior, and Connolly, a junior, will serve as BU's co-captains to lead the pack of forwards. Skating behind the captains, Warsofsky will be the anchor of the fledgling defense.
"It's an honor," Pereira said in regard to being named captain. "It comes with a lot of responsibility. Every day you have to be consistent with what you do. You can't have a bad day. If you're tired, you can't let the guys know you're tired."
The affable Connolly added, "I take it as a challenge. I'm excited about it. Every year is an opportunity to contribute more."
And while Warsofsky doesn't have the "C" on his jersey, he might have the highest ceiling of the three stars. Initially drafted by the St. Louis Blues in 2008, he had his rights traded to the Bruins this summer. But the Marshfield, Mass., native doesn't want to wait for the NHL to go on a championship run at the Garden. He's ready to lead the defense and guide the Terriers back to the top of Hockey East Tournament.
"We had an unbelievable freshman year, and a down sophomore year, so we want to get back to the top," said Warsofsky. "I think if we get a little bit of improvement out of everybody, and the freshmen help out, I think we'll be alright."
While the rest of the college hockey world has its eyes on Boston College, these three guys still think BU can make a legitimate run.
"We know Hockey East is tough. Night in and night out it's a battle. You can't take nights off. … This year I think we have the right attitude, the right work ethic," said Connolly, reiterating the philosophy of head coach Jack Parker.
And acting like a true captain, Pereira is solely focused on what the Terriers can do on the ice, not what other people are saying.
"When the puck drops next week," he said, "that's the only thing that matters."