With graduate transfers, the one-time transfer waiver, and the fifth year of eligibility due to coronavirus, the 2021-22 freshmen classes in Hockey East were difficult to decipher.
Many programs around the league, including Boston College and UMass, went heavy on grad transfers. Taking players with four years of college experience under their belts was a more concrete and definitive way to bring in talent that could impact the team in a positive way right from the start.
While some potential freshmen were pushed off a year, there are still quite a few marquee rookies in Hockey East. It is an interesting year in that Boston College didn’t bring in the blue-chippers that fans around the league have become accustomed to seeing.
It’s fascinating to look into all the decommits who will have success around the league this winter. A couple of players on my Preseason Hockey East All-Rookie Team had previously been committed to another school in the league.
While the Eagles didn’t have the recruiting class the program typically does, a couple of other programs stepped up. Vermont, under second-year head coach Todd Woodcroft, had its best recruiting class in quite a few years. UMass, Northeastern, Boston University and Providence also had stellar classes. UConn didn’t have a lot of quantity, but it made up for it with the quality of a couple of newcomers. Merrimack and New Hampshire also have some notable rookies who will make an impact over the coming years in North Andover and Durham, respectively.