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Boston Bruins Prospects to Watch in the NCAA Tournament

(Photo Credit: Michael Miller/Getty Images)

By Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for college hockey fans, as the road to the Frozen Four gets underway this afternoon. For Bruins fans, this is an excellent opportunity to see some of the organization’s top prospects in action and look at some future college-free agents that will become available upon season’s end. Here’s who to watch for:

Dans Locmelis

School: UMass Amherst

Stats: 29 Games, 7 Goals, 7 Assists, 14 Points

Round 1 Matchup: 3/28 vs. Denver, 2 p.m.

How to Watch: ESPN2/ESPN+

Dans Locmelis is one of the top center prospects in the Boston Bruins system. He captained his native Latvia at this year’s World Juniors and led the squad in scoring with five points in five games. The freshman has spent his first season in the NCAA adjusting to US ice after playing his junior hockey overseas but has found his footing and is improving with every game. Look for Locmelis to center the second or third line for UMass, play hard minutes on the penalty kill, and patrol the front of the net on the powerplay.

Ryan Walsh

School: Cornell

Stats: 33 Games, 12 Goals, 10 Assists, 22 Points

Round 1 Matchup: 3/28 vs. Maine, 5:30 p.m.

How to Watch: ESPN+/ESPNEWS

Boston’s sixth-round pick in last year’s NHL Entry Draft can flat-out shoot the puck. In his first year of college hockey, Walsh is already tied for second on his team in goals and touts a diverse repertoire of shots he can utilize all over the ice. He shines the brightest on the powerplay, but his ability to pass and create plays is also fun to watch. With nine points in his last 11 games, look for Walsh as a significant factor for Cornell in today’s game.

Oskar Jellvik

School: Boston College

Stats: 37 Games, 12 Goals, 25 Assists, 37 Points

Round 1 Matchup: 3/29 vs. Michigan Tech, 2 p.m.

How to Watch: ESPN+/ESPNU

Oskar Jellvik is my favorite prospect in the Bruins system. The Swedish winger has an elite combination of straight-line speed, agility, and lateral quickness, making it difficult for even the best skaters to defend. He’s been playing at a point-per-game pace all season and even earned himself a promotion up to top prospect Cutter Gauthier’s line early in the season. Look for Jellvik to set up his teammates and generate transition for BC.

Andre Gasseau

School: Boston College

Stats: 36 Games, 11 Goals, 17 Assists, 29 Points

Round 1 Matchup: 3/29 vs. Michigan Tech, 2 p.m.

How to Watch: ESPN+/ESPNU

Gasseau has the potential to grow into the kind of power-forward Bruins fans know and love. At 6’4″, 205 pounds, he plays a heavy game, laying the hammer on the forecheck and dominating the front of the net. He has a great shot and solid hands for a big man. He has also improved his skating to maintain the pace of linemates Jellvik and Cutter Gauthier. If BC is going to win tight games in this tournament, Gasseau will be the one clearing out space and making the tough plays.

Jacob Quillan

School: Quinnipiac

Stats: 37 Games, 15 Goals, 29 Assists, 44 Points

Round 1 Matchup: 3/29 vs. Wisconsin, 5:30 p.m.

How to Watch: ESPN+/ESPNEWS

Some fans may not recognize the name Jacob Quillan because he’s not yet a Bruins prospect. Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now reported yesterday that the Bruins were frontrunners to sign the 22-year-old Quillan, and they’d be wise to do so. He scored the overtime winner in last year’s national championship game and has improved his game every year in the NCAA. Look for him to lead the charge as Quinnipiac tries to repeat.

Jake Schmaltz

School: North Dakota

Stats: 35 Games, 1 Goals, 10 Assists, 11 Points

Round 1 Matchup: 3/29 vs. Michigan, 8:30 p.m.

How to Watch: ESPN+/ESPNU

Jake Schmaltz has taken a step back this season for North Dakota, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an essential piece of their team. The role-playing forward works hard on the forecheck, is responsible in his zone, and does all the little things that don’t appear on the stat sheet. He’s not overly big or physical, but he plays the kind of workman-like game that any fan can appreciate. North Dakota will need veterans like Schmaltz to earn their way to another national title.

1 Comment

  1. Roger

    Ty Gallagher BU?? Thought he was a Bruins pick as well

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