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Boston University and the Bruins: A Rich History

The Boston University Terriers and the Boston Bruins have an extremely rich history together. In total, 22 former Terriers have suited up for the Bruins. To put that number in perspective, there have been 86 Terriers to ever make the NHL. So, more than a fourth of those players have suited up for the Bruins, which is the most of any team. After becoming a member of the BU class of 2025 on Monday, and given the fact that I’m a diehard Bruins fan, I felt it was only fitting to feature these players today.

1975-1985

Forwards

The first BU alumni to ever play for the Bruins was center Paul O’Neil. He may have only suited up for one game for the team in 1975, in which he had zero points, but it still counts. He spent two seasons for Boston University (1971-73) before making the jump to the NHL. Throughout his time there, he played in 45 games and tallied 48 goals and 33 assists for a total of 81 points.

The next forward to play was right-winger Dave Silk, who appeared in 35 games for the Bruins during the 1983-84 season, over which he had 13 goals and 17 assists for a total of 30 points. Silk played three seasons with BU (1976-79), over which he produced 70 goals and 73 assists for a total of 143 points in just 85 games.

Goaltenders

Next up is none other than Miracle On Ice goaltender Jim Craig. He had a more substantial tenure with the Bruins than O’Neil did, although it still wasn’t long. Craig played in 23 games during the 1980-81 season, garnering a 9-76 record over that time and a 0.861 save percentage (SV%) and 3.68 goals-against average (GAA). During his two seasons with BU (1977-79), Craig appeared in 35 games, through which he 29-4-2 record, including an undefeated first season. His SV% and GAA were unfortunately unknown from then, but it’s a safe bet they were outstanding given that record.

Last but not least is goaltender Cleon Daskalakis, who played for the Bruins from 1984-87. He appeared in just 12 games over that time span, over which he had a 3-4-1 record to go along with his 0.839 SV% and 4.86 GAA. For those who are wondering why that record doesn’t add up to games played, remember that goalies can appear in games that are not counted as theirs either because early on in the game they relieved the starter or got pulled themselves. Daskalaskis played four seasons for BU from 1980-84, over which he appeared in 87 games and had a 53-25-4 record and an unknown SV% and GAA.

1986-1996

The first former Terrier to play for the Bruins in this time frame was defenseman Dale Dunbar. Like O’Neil, Dunbar only played one game for the Bruins in the 1988-89 season, in which he had zero points. He spent four seasons with Boston University from 1980-85 (he did not play during the 1981-82 season for some reason). During that time, he appeared in 102 games and produced three goals and 41 assists for a total of 44 points.

Center Clark Donatelli then played for the Bruins in the 1991-92 season. He appeared in ten games for them, over which he tallied zero goals and one assist for a total of one point. Donatelli spent three seasons with BU from 1984-87, in which he put up 60 goals and 75 assists for a total of 135 points in 120 games.

Next up, left-winger Shawn McEachern played for the Bruins in the 1995-96 season, as well as the 2005-06 season. Between the two, he appeared in 110 games and put up 26 goals and 35 assists for a total of 61 points. McEachern spent three seasons with the Terriers from 1988-91, over which he played in 120 games and tallied 79 goals and 107 assists for a total of 186 points.

Meanwhile, defenseman Phil Von Stefenelli appeared in 27 games for the Bruins during the 1995-96 season, over which he had zero goals and four assists for a total of just four points. He spent four seasons with the Terriers from 1987-91, through which he appeared in 152 games. In those games, he produced 20 goals and 62 assists for a total of 82 points.

1997-2002

Mike Sullivan, who is the current head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins and former head coach of the Bruins, was the next former Terrier to play for the Bruins. A center, he appeared in 77 games for the team during the 1997-98 season, through which he tallied 5 goals and 13 assists for a total of 18 points. He spent four seasons with the Terriers from 1986-90, over which he played in 141 games and produced 61 goals and 77 assists for a total of 138 points.

Center Shawn Bates then played for the Bruins from 1997-2001. During that time, he played in 135 games and put up 14 goals and 14 assists for a total of 28 points. Prior to that, he spent four seasons with BU from 1993-97. Over the course of 160 games with them, he tallied 73 goals and 71 assists for a total of 144 points.

Last (and ironically least impactful) is defenseman Chris Kelleher. He played just one game for the team in 2001-02, over which he had zero points. Kelleher spent four seasons with Boston University from 1994-98. During that time, he played in 148 games, through which he tallied 24 goals and 85 assists for a total of 109 points.

2003-2008

Defenseman Rich Brennan played seven games for the Bruins in 2002-03. During those seven games, he had zero goals and one assist for a total of one point. Brennan spent four seasons with Boston University from 1991-95, over which he appeared in 142 games. Through those games, he produced 26 goals and 73 assists for a total of 99 points.

Next up we have right-winger Carl Corazzini then played 12 games for Boston in 2003-04, in which he had two goals and zero assists for a total of two points. He spent four seasons with BU from 1997-2001. In that time, he appeared in 150 games and produced 62 goals and 55 assists for a total of 117 points.

Left-winger Dan LaCouture then played for the Bruins during the 2005-06 season. He appeared in 55 games for the teams, contributing two goals and two assists for a total of four points. LaCouture spent just one season with the Terriers in 1996-97, in which he played in 31 games and put up 13 goals and 12 assists for a total of 25 points.

2009-2014

Current Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo was the next former Terrier to suit up for the Bruins. A left-wing, he played just one season for the team (2012-13), in which he appeared in 18 games but had zero points. Pandolfo spent four seasons with Boston University from 1992-96, over which he appeared in 133 games. During that time, he produced 78 goals and 89 assists for a total of 167 points.

Left-winger Chris Bourque, who is Ray Bourque’s son, is next up. He played for the Bruins in 2012-13. He saw 18 games with them and had one goal and three assists for a total of four points to show for it. Bourque spent just one season with the Terriers, in which he played in 35 games and put up a total of ten goals and 13 assists for a total of 23 points.

Defenseman David Warsofsky was the next former Terrier to play for the Bruins. He played for them from 2013-15, appeared in ten games, and put up one goal and one assist for a total of two points. He spent three seasons with BU from 2008-11, playing in a total of 113 games and putting up 22 goals and 46 assists for a total of 68 points.

Current Bruins

Forwards

We’ve finally reached the current Bruins who are former Terriers. Let’s start with center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, who is currently playing in the SHL due to family reasons. But, he remains property of the Bruins. He’s appeared in a total of 29 games for the Bruins, split between the 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons. During that time, he’s produced three goals and six assists for a total of nine points. Prior to joining the Bruins, he spent two seasons with the Terriers from 2015-17. In total, he played in 78 games for Boston University and tallied 24 goals and 39 assists for a total of 63 points.

Next up is center Charlie Coyle. Coyle has spent the past season and a half in Boston after being traded from the Wild at the 2019 trade deadline. In total, he’s suited up in 91 games so far for the black and gold, and produced 18 goals and 25 assists for a total of 43 points. Coyle spent two seasons with the Terriers from 2010-12, over which he played in 53 games and tallied ten goals and 30 assists for a total of 40 points.

Defensemen

As for current defensemen, the first up is Matt Grzelcyk. Grzelcyk is looking to take on a greatly-expanded role with the Bruins this season after the departure of Torey Krug. He’s appeared in 197 games for the Bruins from 2016-20, through which he’s produced ten goals and 44 assists for a total of 54 points. Prior to joining the Bruins organization, Grzelcyk spent four seasons at BU from 2012-16 and even spent the last one as Charlie McAvoy’s captain. During his time at BU, he played in 125 games and tallied 26 goals and 69 assists for a total of 95 points.

Last but certainly not least is the Bruins’ current number one defenseman, Charlie McAvoy. He’s appeared in 184 games for the Bruins from 2016-20, through which he’s put up 19 goals and 73 assists for a total of 92 points. McAvoy spent two seasons with BU (2015-17). During that time, he played in 75 games and produced a total of eight goals and 43 assists for a total of 51 points.

Boston University and the Bruins Clearly Like Each Other

If you made it all the way to the end of this long article, I give you credit and want to say a huge thank you! I would also love to give a huge shoutout to hockeyreference.com, eliteprospects.com, and Wikipedia for keeping extremely detailed records that allowed me to write this article!

But anyway, in short, the Bruins and BU have a long, proud history, and I don’t expect their relationship to change anytime soon. They’re clearly fans of each other. While several of these players were short-term Bruins, there have also been some wildly successful long term ones, such as the current players. So, I think it’s pretty safe to say the relationship has been great so far and only looks to be getting better. I for one cannot wait to get on the BU campus this upcoming fall and start watching what are likely to be some future Bruins on the ice!

-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)

Featured image courtesy of Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

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