Eagles’ Mullane soars with linemate Gaudreau

By Richard Murray

Pat Mullane - Boston College

Photo: Boston College captain Pat Mullane setup one goal in his team's Hockey East semi-final match vs Boston University, but it wasn't enough as the Terriers won, 6-3 (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

With Johnny Gaudreau on his wing the past two seasons, Boston College captain Pat Mullane has continued to develop at the college hockey level, and he will leave BC as a highly sought after unrestricted free agent in the coming weeks.

BC’s first-line center has incredible puck skills on the ice, as does his usual linemate, Gaudreau. Mullane, Gaudreau, and Steven Whitney have torn up college hockey this season, all posting 40+-point seasons as the trio is the usual first line for the Eagles.

Mullane has a career-high 16 goals and 43 points in 37 games. Gaudreau is a Hobey Baker Award finalist and with Mullane’s playmaking abilities potted his second 20-goal season despite missing time while playing in the World Junior Championship. Gaudreau finished with a career-high 50 points.  Gaudreau has credited Mullane with a lot of his success at BC.

“They both feed off each other pretty well,” acting BC head coach Mike Cavanaugh said (Jerry York has been out after eye surgery). “Pat has helped Johnny quite a bit because, when he first came in, Johnny was a bit shy and Pat took him under his wing. They have flourished together.”

The duo has become very close and Mullane believes that it’s actually Gaudreau who is the reason his own game has taken such a big jump up.

“That is just Johnny deflecting because he is unbelievable,” Mullane said about Gaudreau crediting the success to the captain. “What he does with the puck and brings to the table for this team and college hockey as a whole is incredible. I have played with him a lot this season and my goals have almost doubled because I just go to the net, put my stick down, and he finds it.”

Although Gaudreau has been a big part of his development, Mullane has continued to grow in many different ways for the Eagles. As the captain he is one of the players his teammates look up to, and his offensive production has continued to grow every season. He went from 28 points as a freshman to 43 as a senior.

“Pat has been an outstanding leader, and he has really matured into that role,” Cavanaugh said. “He is an excellent hockey player as he has really worked on his game. Pat has improved immensely over his four seasons with us.”

Playing at BC is obviously an incredible experience with a long tradition of winning. Mullane and his senior class swept the Beanpot, have three Hockey East titles, and two National Championships.

“It is a credit to the players who have come before and the legacy they have left,” Mullane said. “We have learned how to be successful, and it is fun to be able to play at the Garden. Playing at the Garden is something that I am certainly going to miss, and I have been very fortunate to have this chance.”

Cavanaugh added: “It is a pretty good record to have, and he has been instrumental in that success.”

BC coach Jerry York has made a big impression on many of his players even after they leave, and that is no different with the current captain of the Eagles. Jerry York became the all-time wins leader in college hockey history this past season, too.

“The wins are something that he will be remembered for, but for me it is more of the fact that he is a better person,” Mullane said.

“He is a great coach, but he is an even better person. That is how I am going to remember him because he is so optimistic, positive, and just an unbelievable to be around. I have been extremely fortunate to have learned so much hockey knowledge from him, but I have also learned how to be a better person because of him.”

Although BC fell short of the Hockey East championship, its season is not over yet as the Eagles will prepare for another shot at the National Championship.

“Even though we lost [ in the Hockey East tournament], we know we will still be playing next week,” Mullane said.

Mullane’s collegiate career is coming to a close sooner rather than later, and with the season he has put on display, he should be a player desired by multiple NHL teams this April.

Follow Rich Murray on Twitter via @Richie_Murray