Last Season: 13-16-5 (9-14-4) 9th in Hockey East
(F) Steve Qualier (early departure – Montreal Canadiens), (D) Anthony Bitetto (early departure – Nashville Predators), (F) Justin Daniels.
’12-’13 Recruit Class:
(F) Kevin Roy – Lac-Beauport, Quebec – Lincoln (USHL)
(F) Michael McMurtry – Greely, Ontario – Gloucester (CCHL)
(D) Dustin Darou – Perth, Ontario – Carleton Place (CCHL)
(F) Ryan Belonger – Green Bay, WI – Youngstown (USHL)
(D) Jarrett Fennell – Innisfil, Ontario – Aurora (OJHL)
(D) Colton Saucerman – Colorado Springs, CO – Lincoln (USHL)
(F) Cam Darcy – South Boston, MA – USNTDP U-18 (USHL)
(D) Michael Gunn –Livonia, MI – Youngstown (USHL)
(G) Derick Roy – Lac-Beauport, Quebec – South Shore (EJHL)
(D) Dax Lauwers – Anchorage, Alaska – Lincoln (USHL)
BF’s Hockey East Recruit Class Rank: 4 – Jim Madigan welcomes a historically large (2nd largest in NU history) recruit class (10 recruits and 2 transfers) that features a wealth of offensive firepower and some much needed defensive reinforcements. NU can thank Jerry Keefe (of Matignon fame), or fate perhaps, as Keefe was originally the one to recruit Kevin Roy during his tenure at Brown. Serendipitously, Keefe ends up at Northeastern and Roy, with his brother in tow, follows suit. With a BF recruit class rank of 4 (HEA), there is of course more depth beyond the acclaimed, Kevin Roy. Hometown boy, Cam Darcy(South Boston, MA) has a NTDP pedigree, and the ’12-’13 recruit class also features a dearth of solid defensemen – Dustin Darou, Jarrett Fennell, Dax Lauwers, Colton Saucerman and Michael Gunn.
BF’s Key Recruit to Watch: Kevin Roy – Led USHL in scoring last season with a Lincoln Stars franchise record 54 goals and a staggering 104 total points; earning virtually every award or accolade that the league handed out last year. Roy, who hails from Lac-Beauport, Quebec would’ve made the late, great Fern Flaman proud as he built the Northeastern program in the 80’s with a steady stream of Quebec natives. The addition of Roy not only bestowed some long overdue good fortune to the Husky program, but it added some much needed optimism for ’12-13 amongst the ever loyal Doghouse.
The Beanpot Forum asked the experts for an ‘Insider’s Take’:
Coach Jim Madigan (credit Go NU.com)
On phenom recruit, Kevin Roy
“Kevin is a special player that looks to make an immediate impact in Hockey East. His offensive skill set should boost our offensive production from last season. Kevin had an amazing season last year and we hope that firepower carries over as a Husky.”
On senior UVM transfer, Mike Marshall’s veteran presence
“Marshall comes to Northeastern with a familiarity of Hockey East and can instill a sense of veteran leadership right off the bar. We’re excited to have an experience skater with a strong skill set that can help along our large class of freshmen. He understands what it takes to compete at this level day in and day out.”
Beanpot Forum’s Prognosis: Northeastern hockey fans have grown accustomed to heartache and despair over the course of the past quarter century. The ebb and flow of this past off-season seems to correlate with this historical agita, that many Husky fans will tell you is an inherent part of following this program. The nadir of the offseason re-shuffling was the de-commitment of highly touted goaltender, John Gillies, after maligned netminder, Chris Rawlings, decided to remain at NU for his senior season. This on the heels of losing out on USCHO Rookie of the Year and HEA Tournament MVP, Johnny Gaudreau last year, after then head coach Greg Cronin left for the NHL. As fate would have it, the Huskies were able to nab the Roy brothers and welcomed the dynamic duo to Huntington Avenue; with prolific USHL scorer Kevin (Roy) showcasing as the headline act after de-committing from Brown.
The 2012-13 Huskies will certainly not suffer from a lack of offense as they return 4 of their top 5 leading scorers in Ludwig Karlsson (10-16-26), Garrett Vermeersch (10-14-24), Vinny Saponari (7-16-23) and Braden Pimm (10-12-22). Surprisingly, Northeastern averaged only 2.85 goals/game last season which ranked the Huskies just 26th in the country. We expect that number to increase considerably with the added offensive weapons and core group of forwards back in the fold.
The major question on all the HEA experts and prognosticators minds is whether or not NU can develop defensively and mold a cohesive unit together in time to challenge the veteran laden squads in the conference. In addition, I question the synergy of a team welcoming 12 newcomers, all looking for leadership from a captain, BU transfer Vinny Saponari, who has a checkered past and is yet tasked with leading this young, talented team. Questions abound about the defensive inexperience and liabilities burdening the Huskies, including whether or not goaltender, Chris Rawlings, can return to form?
There is no question that NU is blessed with the most substantial upside of any team in HEA. The Huskies possessed a flare for the dramatic last year and performed well on the big stage; beating the likes of Minnesota and Notre Dame on enemy ice. They will need similar cache this year and must rely upon some youngsters on D to develop expeditiously if they want to challenge for a HEA home playoff seed. Would it surprise me if they made a big push at the end of the year? -Absolutely not! Would it surprise me if these precocious, young Hounds succumbed to the arduous first half schedule? – Absolutely not! What we do know for sure – THIS WILL BE FASCINATING TEAM TO WATCH.
BF Predicted Hockey East Position: 8th – The Huskies will be an exciting, young team to watch but I question their inexperience on defense and the reliability of goaltender, Chris Rawlings.