Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
In this regional, after Notre Dame had to withdraw due to being in Covid 19 protocols, we have three teams that will compete for a trip to Pittsburgh and a Frozen Four spot. Each team, St Cloud State, Boston University, and Boston College all have a chance to make the Frozen Four, and each team has undrafted free agents that have helped them progress and get to the NCAA Tournament. Like in each of the other three regions, we will look at one undrafted player to watch today.
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St Cloud State Huskies
The physical power forward helps the Huskies fast group of forwards create offense. One constant force he has brought to this team for the past four years is his ability to create offense using his frame and ability to battle in the corners. From our earlier preview of the NCHC, we said of him. Among NCHC forwards, his game and ability to agitate to create turnovers is similar to the Fighting Hawks’ Jasper Weatherby. If St. Cloud State can knock off Boston University and advance, it is probable that Easton will have a big part in that.
” A power winger from a hockey family, Brodzinski is a senior who expected to be one of the Huskies’ top scoring threats after he led them in goals (12) and points (27) a season ago. He plays a tough and physical style that increases in ferocity during battles in the corners and along the boards.”
For the Huskies to advance past the Terriers, Brodzinski has to be one of their best players today, when the puck drops in about an hour.
Boston University Terriers
On a team stacked with top-level draft picks, Skoog has made a name for himself in his first full season of playing the men’s game at the Division one level. He plays a game similar to Brodzinski and uses his size to generate offense for his line. Given how well he played at the North American Hockey League level for Minot and Maryland, it is reasonable to think that he has a lot of upside to his game that Terrier fans have not seen yet. While he looks to come back for another season, in a couple of years if he continues on the positive path he is on, it is not unreasonable to expect him to get looks from the next level. The NHL is filled with physical power forwards with upside, and based on Skoog’s ability to carve out a spot in a talented lineup in one and a half seasons of playing the college game, he is an undrafted prospect well worth watching over the next few years.
Boston College Eagles
The second line forward for the Eagles has been one of their better players this season. Like the Terriers, the Eagles have a lot of top end drafted talent on their team, that has arguably been made even better by the depth that McLaughlin provides. He has 24 points in 23 games, and is plus 16 on the season. On a team that provides high-end skill every night, McLaughlin’s line and Marc himself provide it with a lot of defense, and round out the team a bit better. What is impressive about his work at this level that can translate to the next one is how he plays the game. Teams want discipline in their players, he has taken three minor penalties for six minutes all year. The NHL wants efficient scorers, well 10 goals on 48 shots is a pretty respectable 20.8 percent clip. Finally, they want leaders. McLaughlin is part of a leadership group that helped the Eagles to a number one seed in Hockey East, one of the toughest conferences in this game.