Where Are They Now ? – HEA Impact on the 2012 NHL Playoffs

Where are they now? 

The BF wrote a piece several weeks ago on the Hockey East Effect in these 2012 NHL playoffs. In terms of potential impact on this year’s Cup run, there were some obvious choices and some rather obscure HEA alumni that the BF was going to keep an eye on.

Couple of Carpetbaggers in Tennessee

Colin Wilson (Greenwich, CT) and Brandon Yip (former BU teammates) would fall into the latter category as the two former Terriers are stuck in market known more for whisky

Former BU Star Brandon Yip

and country music fame than NHL Hockey. Despite being mired in a somehwat obscure, non-traditional hockey market, both Yipp and Wilson have begun to make their mark as the Preds battle the Phoenix Coyotes in the Campbell Conference semi-finals. I personally watched much of game 4 last night and both Yipp and Wilson were two of the best Forwards on the ice for Nashville despite the  1-0 loss to the lame duck Phoenix Nordiques.

Jesse Connolly of the New England Hockey Journal tells us how Colin Wilson remained upbeat despite a string of early round scratches. Wilson has been forced to earn his keep on Barry Trotz’ roster as he was mired in the dog house early in the playoffs despite a relatively strong regular season (15 goals 35 pts in 68 contests) that saw Wilson put up career numbers.

Brandon Yip, on the other hand, put up paltry numbers (3 goals, 4 assists) in a meager 35 games for Nashville this year. He appears to be peaking at an opportune time, however, and Barry Trotz is beginning to take notice. Columnist, John Glennon, of the Tennessean wrote a piece recently about the surprise addition if Yip on the Predator power play – certainly a long way from the 7 point regular season. Despite the recent contributions from Yip and WIlson, The Preds are on the cusp of elimination as the stingy Yotes have a commanding 3-1 series lead.

From a non traditional market to the BIG APPLE and LA

Although no one who has followed Chris Kreider’s (Boxford, MA) amateur career at BC can be surprised that he has found success at the pro level- you have to be somewhat incredulous as to the instantaneous nature of his ascent into stardom for the NY Rangers. Kreider, fresh off an NCAA National Championship was thrust into the Broadway spotlight in game 3 of rd 1 versus Ottawa and hasn’t looked back since. It was rumored that Kreider’s jersey is already the #14 selling jersey in the NHL; incredible!

Kreider amazingly has 2 game winning tallies and has made such a seamless transition that you would think he and Brad Richards were linemates all year. The Sporting News’ Jesse Spector offered another intriguing spin on Kreider’s pro career as he has been reunited with 2011 WJC players Ryan McDonough and Derek Stepan in New York. God bless GM Glen Sather and his love for quality collegian players.

Ironically, the main impetus behind Kreider’s insertion into the line-up was 2 key injuries, one of which was fellow BC alum and Hingham, MA native Brian Boyle. The rangy forward has since returned to the lineup after taking a nasty hit in the Ottawa series.

Another former Hockey East star is also making waves in a flashy, bright lights kinda market. Former UMass and Avon Old Farms standout Jonathan Quick paced the LA kings past #1 seed Vancouver – and former BC G Cory Schneider – in the first round out West. Quick’s impact can not be viewed as a surprise as the young netminder was recently nominated a s a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. The NHJ profiled Quick and the surprise Kings yesterday as LA looks to finsih of the St. Louis Blues (lead series 3-0) and advance to the conference finals.

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