Friday, September 16, 2016

2016-17 Captain's Q&A with Doyle Somerby

Q. Doyle, as the captain of yet another very young team, with nine freshmen and eight sophomores, what are you and your assistants doing to build team chemistry?
A. To build chemistry in my mind, it doesn't matter what you are doing as long as you are together. The comfort every player has with each other goes a long way throughout the season. So far, we just try and spend as much time throughout the week together, whether that comes from watching football on Saturdays and Sundays together or hanging out after practice. I am lucky enough to live close to campus, so this summer I was able to spend a good amount of time around the incoming freshman when they were here for summer school.

Q. Since your arrival at BU, not only has your speed improved, but your agility as well. How did you achieve this and what areas are you looking to improve on personally this season?
A. Skating is a huge part of our teams success. The forwards that I am able to face on a daily basis are a huge part of my ability to improve year by year. Every summer I work with a guy named Adam Nicholas who has done a lot for me. I skate with him frequently throughout July and August and he is a major factor in my development. Also, the second that coaches are allowed on the ice with us, coach David Quinn has really pushed me throughout the year. His knowledge and experience for every defensive situation is beneficial for my growth as a player. The situations that he puts the defensemen in throughout practice allows us to improve our footwork and defensive play.  

Q. Your scoresheet contributions took a big step up last year with 5 goals, 8 assists and 45 shots on goal. Do you attribute those numbers to experience, greater comfort with the offensive scheme, recognizing and jumping on opportunities—or all three?
A. Being more of a defensive defenseman, the scoresheet is something that I am not very dependent on as a player. With that said, it is obviously nice to score goals and chip in offensively but we have a lot of skilled players that have helped me improve statistically each year. The main thing that has allowed me to increase production each year is the confidence in my skating. The first two years I was a lot more timid because I did not trust my feet to bail me out of situations. As I have grown into my body more, from work in the weight room and extra skating, I have felt the confidence to put myself in more offensive situations.

Q. Two freshmen—Patrick Harper and Johnny McDermott—are coming in directly from prep school programs. What did you find to be the biggest adjustment when you arrived from Kimball Union and what will you tell them?
A. I have talked to them quite a bit about the jump from prep to college. The general assumptions about the size and speed of guys are undeniable. All I can tell them is the grind of the season can get to you at times, and there will certainly be a lot of ups and downs, but it's how you respond each game. College hockey is very mental and I just tell them to trust their ability and enjoy each game because there aren't many better places to be than BU.

Q. How often do you speak with the Islanders about your development at BU? (Is it former Terrier Chris O’Sullivan?) What do they want you to improve before you turn pro?
A. I talk to a few different people within the Islander’ system throughout the year. Being in a system with a lot of guys who have been through the college ranks is really nice and beneficial for me. As far as improvements go, they just talk about the year-to-year jumps you make as a player. Take care of what is in your control; get stronger, work on skating, be confident, enjoy and learn from the leadership role I have been placed in. They like the system, the coaching staff and the quality of the players here at BU, so it is a good situation to be in.

Q. Does Coach Quinn’s defensive system lend itself to the style and development that NHL teams are seeking?
A. His track record speaks for itself. He is very well regarded by people at the pro level, and the players he has coached at every step of the way have gone on to be very good players. The work he does with the defenseman in practice that I alluded to earlier is something that will pay off not only this season but at the next level as well.  

Q. BU fans enjoy big open ice hits like the one you had against Duluth (video @ 6:15) in the 2015 regional. Do you look for an opportunity to make a statement with a hit? Or is it a matter of being ready when a puck-carrier has his head down?
A. It has a lot to do with timing, and the gap the defensemen have leaving the offensive zone. It is always nice to lay the big hit but it is something that is not always available. Fortunately, I am not the only defenseman on the team who enjoys the open ice hits, as Charlie McAvoy and Johnny MacLeod have been known to lay thunderous hits.

Q. With Brandon Fortunato’s departure, can we expect to see you gaining more power play opportunities?
A. Haha, I guess you never know. But my role on this team is to take care of the defensive side and pitch in offensively when I can. I was able to fill in occasionally on the powerplay last year when guys went down with injuries. We have two very talented freshmen defensemen coming in who will join Charlie McAvoy on the power play along with a lot of talented forwards, so we will see what happens.  

Q. What areas do you feel the defense needs to improve on from last year (specifically, in their own end), and what are the keys to getting better at those things this year.
A. Communication will be a big key for us this year. To get better in our own end we need to be better at talking and working off each other. We also need to be more efficient moving the puck. Breakouts are something we can really work on because it will prevent us from being hemmed into our own zone.

Q. Last season, the penalty kill, both in Hockey East and overall, was about 81%. What needs to be done to improve that number?
A. Sacrifice. Plain and simple. The effective penalty kills are the ones where people accept their role and the situation and are willing to do anything to keep the puck out of the net. Obviously we will let up goals and sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other team’s power play but bearing down to block shots and clear pucks will definitely improve our penalty kill numbers.

Q. Finally, which returning BU player will surprise Terrier fans this season?
A. For me personally I am really excited about having Nik Olsson and Nick Roberto back in our lineup this year. I don’t know if people realize how important they are to our team. With that said, I think from freshman year to sophomore year is where players may have the biggest jump. We have a few players that will really improve off of last year’s campaign. With that said, I would have to say Jordan Greenway might not surprise Terrier fans per se, but I personally am expecting some big numbers from him this year in particular. He is a special player with his blend of size and skill and I think with a year under his belt he can really take over and dominate games. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Meet the Freshman

Kieffer Bellows
F - 6-1 - 200
Led the U.S. National Under-18 Team in goals (50), power-play goals (12) and game-winning goals (9) for 2015-16 season ... Fourth different player to score 50 goals in a season with the USNTDP ... Member of the bronze medal-winning U18 team at the 2016 U18 World Championships ... Named 2014-15 USHL Rookie of the Year and All-USHL Third Team All-Star after leading the Sioux Falls Stampede to the Clark Cup (team-leading 33g were a single-season record for a 16-year-old ... Led USA U17 Team to a silver medal at the Five Nations Tournament in Germany with 2-3—5 in four games ... Won Minnesota 2014 Class 2A State Championship as a sophomore at Edina High School ... Selected to participate in the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team Development Camp. Son of Tracy and Brian Bellows ... His father played 17 seasons with five teams in the NHL and won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1993 ... Selected in the first round (19th overall) by the New York Islanders in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft ... Enrolled in the College of General Studies.
Gabriel Chabot
F - 5-8 - 180

Led 2015-16 Rochester Jr. Americans (USPHL) in games played (44), points (50), goals (19) and assists (31) ... Also led team in playoff scoring with a line of 3-1–4 ... Appeared in 46 games for the Portland Pirates of the USPHL Premier in 2014-15, good for fifth on the team, while recording a stat line of 1-2–3 ... Also played four games for the Pirates' USPHL Elite team ... Appeared in 20 games with Portland during the 2013-14 season, his first with the club, recording six assists ... Topped the 2012-13 TPH Thunder U18 squad of the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League in points, goals and assists, posting a line of 12-15–27 in 39 games played ... Son of Suzanne and Frédéric Chabot ... His father was drafted in the 10th round of the 1986 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils and played five NHL seasons with three teams ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in economics.
Patrick Curry
F - 5-11 - 185

Played with the Bloomington Thunder of the USHL for two seasons, tallying a total line of 26-27–53 in 115 games played ... His 115 games played make him the longest-tenured player in club history ... Finished fifth on the team in points and fourth in goals in 2015-16 ... Netted 10 power-play goals on the Thunder's league-leading power play unit in 2015-16 ... His 20 points in 2014-15, the team's inaugural season, were good for 10th on the squad ... In 2013-14, appeared in 32 games for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL, tallying 13 points (4g, 9a) ... Also played in 25 games for the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL, totaling 26 points (12g, 14a) and a team best 1.04 points per game ... Son of Carol and George Curry ... Enrolled in the College of General Studies.
Dante Fabbro
D - 6-1 - 192

Played two seasons with the Penticton Vees of the BCHL, helping them claim the 2015 Fred Page Cup ... Named the Best Defenseman in the BCHL in 2015-16 after leading his position in scoring (14g, 53a, 1.49 points per game, 31 power-play points) ... Recorded eight assists in seven games as a member of Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship ... Led all defensemen in assists, leading Team Canada-West to victory at the 2015 World Junior "A" Challenge ... Named to 2014-15 BCHL All-Rookie Team with Penticton ... Had the second-most playoff points among BCHL defensemen (4g, 11a) during the run to the 2015 championship ... Selected to participate in the 2016 Canada National Junior Team Summer Development Camp ... Son of Tina and Stephen Fabbro ... Selected in the first round (17th overall) by the Nashville Predators in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft ... Enrolled in the College of General Studies.
Patrick Harper
F - 5-9 - 160

Spent his most recent full season at Avon Old Farms, captaining the Winged Beavers and leading them to the NEPSAC semifinals ... Led the team in points (59) and assists (39) while recording the second-most goals (20) ... Had a brief stint with the Omaha Lancers (USHL), recording a goal and three assists in 9 games ... Played in 13 games for the Mass Tier I U18 Neponset Valley River Rats, leading his team and the league with 32 points (19g, 13a) ... In the 2014-15 season at Avon Old Farms, led his team with 47 points, while finishing second in both goals (20) and assists (27) ... Appeared in 14 games with the Neponset Valley River Rats as a teammate of current Terrier Max Prawdzik, recording 30 points (14g, 16a) ... Tallied 29 points (13g, 16a) in 24 games for the New Jersey Rockets Midget U19 squad in 2013-14 ... Son of Heather and Roger Harper ... Selected in the fifth round (138th overall) by the Nashville Predators in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft ... Enrolled in the College of General Studies.
Clayton Keller
F - 5-10 - 175

Broke the U.S. NTDP career record for points with 189 on 71 goals and 118 assists ... Led the U18 team in scoring in 2015-16 with 107 points (37g, 70a), which placed him second all-time in NTDP history for points in a season ... Set program record for assists in a season (70) ... Tournament MVP of 2016 U18 World Championships, winning a bronze medal with Team USA ... Led U18 Five Nations Tournament with 12 points (5g, 7a) in four games ... Recorded nine points (4g, 5a) en route to a gold medal with Team USA at the 2015 U18 World Championships ... Ranked fourth on 2014-15 U18 team with 1.44 points per game (16 GP) while also leading the U17 team with 59 points (25g, 34a) in 45 games ... Led Shattuck St. Mary's High School (Minn.) in 2013-14 with 77 points (36g, 41a) ... Selected to participate in the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team Development Camp ... Son of Kelley and Bryan Keller ... Selected in the first round (seventh overall) by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft ... Enrolled in the College of General Studies.

Chad Krys
D - 6-0 - 185

Split this past season with the U.S. NTDP U18 and U17 teams, tallying 29 points (3g, 26a) in 53 games with the U18s and 13 points (2g, 11a) in 18 games with the U17s ... Youngest member of the bronze medal-winning Team USA U20 squad at the 2016 World Championships, playing alongside BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy ... Also won bronze at the 2016 U18 World Championships, serving as one of the team's assistant captains ... Won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2015 U18 World Championships, tallying five points (1g, 4a) in seven games ... Tied for the tournament lead in assists at the 2014-15 World U17 Hockey Challenge (7a in 6 GP) with fellow Terrier Clayton Keller, helping Team USA earn a silver medal ... Selected to participate in the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team Development Camp ... Son of Stacy and Mark Krys ... His dad served as captain of the Terrier men's hockey team during the 1990-91 season, helping them reach the NCAA title game ... Selected in the second round (45th overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in American studies. 

Johnny McDermott
F - 6-2 - 194

Captained the Westminster School to the Large School Martin/Earl Tournament Final in 2015-16 ... Led the Martlets in assists (25) while finishing third in points (36) and goals (11) in 25 games played ... Spent a season with the Mid-Fairfield Midget Rangers U18, appearing in 22 games and recording a team-high 25 points (10g, 15a) ... Recorded an assist in two appearances for the Tri-City Storm (USHL) ... Tallied 28 points (12g, 16a) in 2014-15 at Westminster, all good for third on the team ... Finished second on the team in points (31-36—67) in 50 games as a member of the Connecticut Oilers 16U Midget squad ... Also appeared in 18 games for the Oilers U18 team of the EJEPL in the same season, recording a line of 10-11—21 ... Ranked 106th in NHL's final 2015 Central Scouting rankings for North American skaters ... Son of Lisa and Jay McDermott ... Enrolled in the College of General Studies.
Jake Oettinger
G - 6-4 - 205

In 37 games with the Under-18 Team in 2015-16, posted a 2.38 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage, to go along with a record of 25-8-0-1 and two shutouts ... Backstopped Team USA to a bronze medal in the U18 World Junior Championships, posting a 1.50 GAA and a .934 save percentage in four games ... In 29 games with the Under-17 team in 2014-15, recorded team bests in goals-against average (2.57) and save percentage (.916) ... Member of the gold medal-winning U.S. squad at the 2015 U18 World Championships ... In nine games for Lakeville North High School as a freshman in 2013-14, posted a 1.86 GAA and .931 save percentage, leading the team to the Minnesota Class 2A State Championship Game ... Was also a member of the Class 2A All-Tournament Team ... Selected to participate in the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team Development Camp ... Son of Kateri and Chris Oettinger ... Enrolled in the College of General Studies.