College hockey fans in New England have beared witness to some of the finest freshmen seasons in the sport’s long history, but for every Paul Kariya, Jack Eichel or Clayton Keller out there, there are many players who have to grind it out, scratch and claw for their coveted spot on a Division 1 line chart.
The college game comes easy to few players right away. It is played at a new level of speed, and the players are bigger, faster and stronger. No matter the school, a player’s freshman year resembling a roller-coaster ride is not uncommon, but those growing pains at the start are what can shape a career, often for the better.
As another season begins, New England Hockey Journal catches up with a trio of sophomores from each of New England’s three Division 1 conferences. Read on as a small but skillful Terrier, Harvard’s star on the blue line, and a Bentley local recap their first years playing the collegiate game and look ahead to Year 2.