With college hockey well underway in 2021-22, Hockey East has seen some surprise impact players elevating their teams in the first quarter of the season.
It has been an uneven start for a lot of teams, with only one point separating the first- and fourth-place teams currently in the conference standings. UMass currently holds a tenuous lead with Providence right behind, while UMass Lowell has (along with Vermont) played the fewest number of conference games (4) but has a 4-0-1 record.
In many cases, players expected to provide the bigger roles for their teams have done exactly that. Others who perhaps more unexpectedly have found themselves among the more notable success stories include Toronto Maple Leafs prospect and UConn sophomore Ryan Tverberg, UMass freshman Ryan Ufko and Providence College’s Nick Poisson, all featured in the most recent College Confidential.
This list expands on a mixture of Hockey East newcomers, along with some upperclassmen who were not necessarily in the forefront of preseason discussions, but have managed to stand out for their increased production and positive contributions. While not all teams are represented on this list, it’s a good starting point and we’ll revisit the conference standouts as the season rolls on into the winter months.