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.