Bruins NCAA prospects update

By Janine Pilkington

The Bruins have just three prospects playing in the collegiate ranks this season — a goaltender, a defenseman and a forward.

Hockey East

Kevin Regan, G
Senior, University of New Hampshire
Drafted:  9th round, 277th overall (2003)

Aside from helping his team to compete for a championship, there is very little left for senior goaltender Kevin Regan to prove at the college level. Serving as one of the team’s assistant captains and making the majority of starts this season, Regan has shattered Wildcats’ goaltending records in career wins, saves and save percentage. Currently ranked tops in all of Hockey East in winning percentage (.737) and second in save percentage (.922), he’s earned Defensive Player of the Week honors on four occasions and was recently named as a semi-finalist for the Walter Brown Award (top American-born player in a New England college). With a number of All-American goaltenders in UNH’s history, to say that he is leaving his mark on the hockey program would be an understatement.

“He’s just done so much for the program,” said UNH Head Coach Dick Umile. “Having him in the net has allowed us to grow as a team. I think right now he’s playing with a tremendous amount of confidence, and our team is confident with him in the net.”

Umile describes a hard-working and dedicated player who comes early to practice and is tremendous in the weight room. Regan is disciplined both on and off the ice and in addition to his obvious talents as a hockey player, has excelled academically. While his ability to take that success to the pro level remains to be seen, it appears the South Boston native has all the intangibles of a legitimate NHL prospect.

“You never know how they’re going to do at the next level, but the character of the individual is most important and he’s got it,” said Umile. “This kid competes, and I think he’s a great prospect. He’s got the characteristics to be successful at the next level.”

Brock Bradford, C
Junior, Boston College
Drafted: 7th round, 217th overall (2005)

After a spectacular sophomore season for Boston College, Brock Bradford had established himself as a key player in the Eagles’ attack and seemed poised to continue on that track for 2007-08. Unfortunately, the junior forward broke his arm in the first game of the season and wouldn’t play again until January. Bradford was able to return for five games, where he averaged a point per game, before sustaining another arm injury that would take him out of the lineup for the remainder of the season. BC’s Associate Head Coach Mike Cavanaugh acknowledged that losing Bradford was certainly a blow, but the team has proved to be resilient, and is currently second in Hockey East.

“He’s an astounding player,” said Cavanaugh of Bradford. “You know, the one nice thing is he stays close to the team. He’s such a good influence off the ice as well — he’s a great locker room guy, so we don’t lose that aspect. Between periods [Beanpot tournament vs. Boston University] he’s giving pointers and telling people what he sees up top — grabbing me and telling me what he sees on the power play — so it’s always good to have another set of eyes in that respect..”

With plenty of time to heal between now and next season, Bradford should have little problem stepping back into the lineup for 2008-09. He’s a player who is not only skilled, but has the high hockey IQ to be an elite player at the college level.

CCHA

Alain Goulet, D
Freshman, University of Nebraska-Omaha
Drafted: 6th round, 159th overall (2007)

Goulet entered his freshman year with Nebraska-Omaha after a championship season with the Aurora Tigers (OPJRA). While they are strong offensively, the Mavericks have been searching for some consistency on the blueline and in the net. Goulet is still finding his way in the college game, but improving steadily, and could develop into a solid offensive defenseman at the collegiate level. It will take continued work for him to get there, but Head Coach Mike Kemp sees promise in the young defenseman.

“He’s still developing and growing- it’s a daily process with him,” said Kemp. “He’s learning how to play at this level — to raise the intensity level in both practice and in games, and the speed of the game — but we’re seeing progress.”

Kemp describes a player with an exceptional skill level who is very eager to learn and improve his game. He believes that some off-season work, particularly in the weight room, will work wonders for Goulet, who is very tall, but underdeveloped physically.

“He’s got size, he’s got a real knack with the puck, he sees the ice well. I see him becoming a pretty good offensive defenseman as time goes on.”