By: Ryan Ellis | Follow Ryan on Twitter @_RyEllis_
Continuing our look into the Boston Bruins prospects playing this upcoming season in the NCAA, we bring three more young NHL hopefuls outside of our quaint region in the North East of the continental US. As stated in Part One of this collegiate series, the Bruins currently have nine total student-athletes in the organization.
Over the past few weeks between rookie camp, the Prospect Challenge, and now regular season training camp, we have begun to get to know some of the pieces we may be seeing sooner than later. Let’s continue to look at the young men we most likely have another couple of years before seeing them in Providence or Boston.
Jack Becker – C – Arizona State University
When you think of Arizona State University, you think of dormitories with swimming pools, cactuses, a top-five party school, and an NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey powerhouse. Okay, perhaps that last part is a bit of a stretch. With that said, ASU has been quite competitive for some time now. They even landed an invite to the 2018-19 NCAA tournament just three years into their eligibility as a Division I team.
Entering this season, the Sundevils will have a certified veteran on their squad as Jack Becker joins their program at age 24. Becker, a seventh-round pick by the Boston Bruins in the 2015 NHL-entry draft, was privy to an extra year of eligibility. The Dellwood, Minnesota native played a solid four years in Ann Arbor for the University of Michigan Wolverines, even serving as a captain for the maize and blue during the 2020-21 season. Deciding to use his fifth-year eligibility, he joins a SunDevils team while looking to continue his development before moving on to the next phase of his career.
Becker is a long six-foot-three-inch pivot known for his blue-collar work ethic and aggressive approach. There is nothing flashy about the forward’s offensive game, but he plays hard and gets to the net. Known to disturb and distract the goaltender, he possesses a playing style that the Bruins faithful typically love to see. It’s a longshot that we will ever see Becker in Boston at this point, but stranger things have happened.
Dustyn McFaul – D – Clarkson University
Next, we will travel back east. We have landed in Potsdam, New York. Here we will find Clarkson University and a 21-year-old Junior, Dustyn McFaul of Watertown, Ontario. The six-foot-two left-shot defenseman was selected 181st overall by the Boston Bruins in the sixth round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
McFaul has good size and somehow plays even longer than his height would lead you to believe. He has developed as a skilled penalty killer and a workhorse that will throw his body around without hesitation. For a guy that projects as a stay-at-home shutdown defenseman, McFaul can move quite nicely.
Not concerning himself with the offensive side of the game allows his D partners and forwards to flourish knowing the neutral zone isn’t exposed. Dustyn has played, and continues to play, with a handful of other NHL draftees and will face off against plenty of formidable opponents this season with the Golden Knights. Don’t be surprised if he signs after college and you hear his name down the road.
Jake Schmaltz – LW/C – University of North Dakota
On to the Mid West, we have Forward Jake Schmaltz of McFarland, Wisconsin. Schmaltz heads into his Freshman year at UND after capping off his USHL career with an impressive 53-point season with the Green Bay Gamblers. A good-sized forward at six-foot-two 188-pounds hopes to keep impressing while contributing to a top-five ranked Fighting Hawks squad.
Schmaltz is an intelligent player with a high hockey IQ. Exceptional vision and instincts made him a point-per-game player in the USHL as he consistently puts his linemates in position to score. Schmaltz, who very well may play out all four years at UND, has plenty of time to keep developing and filling out.
If Schmaltz can pack on some muscle and work on his balance, he could become a steal for the Bruins organization as a two-way forward. He has shown some trouble staying upright when things get physical, but again, he has time. Like his fellow Bruins prospects on this list, he is a project prospect that will benefit a great deal playing with one of the NCAA Men’s Hockey powerhouses.
Please keep coming back to BlackNGoldHockey.com for more Bruins collegiate prospect breakdowns as we will continue down the list of nine NCAA skaters in the organization.