NCAA Hockey Preview: 2016 Tournament Chock Full Of Bruins Prospects


March 22, 2016

Hockey’s version of March Madness will begin later this week, and the Boston Bruins surely will be watching very closely when it does.

Nine Bruins draftees will be participating in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, the most of any NHL team. Those B’s prospects are spread across seven collegiate squads: two for Boston University, two for Harvard and one apiece for Boston College, Denver, Northeastern, Notre Dame and Yale.

?It?s an enormous amount of pride,? Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told ?We were well-represented in the World Juniors this year. It speaks highly of our prospects, the development process that each and every one of them are going through. Obviously the players deserve the credit, their teams.

?But it?s exciting for guys to be playing at this time of the year, it speaks volumes of their team success and their individual success.?

With the tournament’s first round getting underway Friday afternoon, here’s a look at the potential Bruins of the future who will be vying for a national title:

Matt Benning, Northeastern
Position: Defenseman
Year: Junior
Drafted: Sixth round (175th overall) in 2012
2015-16 stats: Five goals, 18 assists in 40 games. One of eight players to play in every game for Northeastern, which is making its first national tournament appearance since 2009.
Opponent: North Dakota, Friday, 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Anders Bjork, Notre Dame
Position: Forward
Year: Sophomore
Drafted: Fifth round (146th overall) in 2014
2015-16 stats: 11 goals, 22 assists in 34 games. Tied for team lead in points.
Opponent: Michigan, Friday, 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Ryan Donato, Harvard
Position: Forward
Year: Freshman
Drafted: Second round (56th overall) in 2014
2015-16 stats: 13 goals, eight assists in 31 games. Third on team in goals and tied for fourth in points in first season under his father, Harvard coach Ted Donato.
Opponent: Boston College, Friday, 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Ryan Fitzgerald, Boston College
Position: Forward
Year: Junior
Drafted: Fourth round (120th overall) in 2013
2015-16 stats: 22 goals, 22 assists in 37 games. Tied for Hockey East lead in goals; third in conference in points.
Opponent: Harvard, Friday, 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Boston University
Position: Forward
Year: Freshman
Drafted: Second round (45th overall) in 2015
2015-16 stats: 10 goals, 19 assists in 38 games. Sixth in points among Hockey East freshman.
Opponent: Denver, Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Matt Grzelcyk, Boston University
Position: Defenseman
Year: Senior
Drafted: Third round (85th overall) in 2012
2015-16 stats: 10 goals, 12 assists in 26 games. Led Hockey East defenseman in goals despite missing 12 games.
Opponent: Denver, Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Danton Heinen, Denver
Position: Forward
Year: Sophomore
Drafted: Fourth round (116th overall) in 2014
2015-16 stats: 19 goals, 23 assists in 38 games. The Pioneers’ goals leader reportedly plans to turn pro after this season.
Opponent: Boston University, Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Rob O’Gara, Yale
Position: Defenseman
Year: Senior
Drafted: Fifth round (151st overall) in 2011
2015-16 stats: Four goals, eight assists in 29 games. Played in the 2013 national championship game for Yale, tallying one assist.
Opponent: UMass Lowell, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3

Wiley Sherman, Harvard
Position: Defenseman
Year: Sophomore
Drafted: Fifth round (150th overall) in 2013
2015-16 stats: Four goals, six assists in 31 games. Missed ECAC tournament with an injury.
Opponent: Boston College, Friday, 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk
Liverpool Tour 2016
Previous Article

Liverpool To Play In 2016 International Champions Cup In United States

Martellus Bennett
Next Article

Patriots’ Martellus Bennett-Rob Gronkowski Duo Should Create Havoc

Picked For You