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Photo Credit: courtesy Calgary Flames/NHL Media

Brandon Hickey may stay in school

If there’s one thing that makes National Hockey League general managers nervous about college players, it’s the possibility of them playing four years and then signing elsewhere as a free agent. Well, there’s a good chance that Brad Treliving’s blood pressure has spiked. In a very lengthy conversation with The Daily Free Press’ Jonathan Sigal, Boston University men’s hockey coach Kevin Quinn indicated that he expects Hickey back with the Terriers for his senior year.

But, the question begs asking: Who returns from this star-studded Terrier team that sent seven skaters to the 2017 World Junior Championships and included 11 NHL Draft picks? It turns out, nearly the whole group.

Talking at length on Wednesday in his Agganis Arena office, Quinn said that he fully expects junior defensemen John MacLeod (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Brandon Hickey (Calgary Flames) to be back, and the same goes for sophomore forwards Jordan Greenway (Minnesota Wild) and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (Boston Bruins).

Hickey, 20, would be one of three returning senior defensemen for the Terriers (along with Tampa Bay prospect John MacLeod and the undrafted Brian Diffley). The departure of Charlie McAvoy to the Boston Bruins may have changed the dynamics a bit for Hickey, as suddenly there’s a chance to return as a senior and anchor a blueline that also includes guys like Chad Krys and Dante Fabbro for one last run at the NCAA Championship. Signing after his senior year rather than after this season would shorten Hickey’s entry-level contract by a season due to his signing age; since he’ll be 22 next year, his first contract would only be for two seasons.

A third round selection of the Flames in the 2014 NHL Draft, Hickey has 40 points in 112 NCAA games with Boston University over three seasons. Coincidentally, one of the players joining the Terriers next season as part of their 2017-18 recruiting class? Brady Tkachuk, Matthew’s little brother.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I was rattled that Johnny and then Janko would not sign and it all worked out. I am not convinced that Hickey can jump ahead of Rasmus or even Kjillington.

    • cjc

      Though there is a log jam of d-men in Stockton right now, there would likely be space for Hickey next year. Andersson, Kylington, Kanzig and Healey are the only D signed for next year, and it’s likely that Andersson will be fighting for a spot in Calgary. Ditto for Kulak, assuming that he is not plucked by Las Vegas and gets re-signed. Falkovsky probably gets a promotion from Adirondack, given his performance. AOM is not guaranteed to be there next year. Even if all those guys end up in Stockton next year, that is 7 D, so there would probably be space for Hickey. They carried like 9 D for a lot of this year, as AHL has pretty flexible roster limits.

  • supra steve

    So, is he going to end up with a degree as well, if he finishes his 4th year? That may be another factor for a young man. At very least, returning for a 4th year would show a degree of loyalty in BH, hopefully his loyalties also extend to the Flames.

  • McRib

    What is Brandon Hickey going to be at the next level? He has hardly developed an offensive game after three seasons and has kind of plateaued. All I can see at this point is a mobile modern day third pairing shutdown defender, which I think he could become because he is a great skater, but he isn’t an elite can’t miss prospect. Charlie McAvoy is leaving so maybe he gets more offensive minutes, but Dante Fabbro, Chad Krys, etc will surely want some of those minutes as well. Well’ll see, but I just can’t see all other 30 NHL teams lining up for his services next year.

    Adam Fox is the one you want to sign sooner then later. Fortunately Harvard is graduating four of their top six offensive producers (42%+ of total offense), so I just can’t see Fox staying longer than next year. Even if he stays next year, what kind of team is Harvard going to ice? They are going to go from a Top. 4 team in the country to being around or even below average in the ECAC.