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Parker gets more high draft picks under the Boston University banner

20270354 18881 Parker gets more high draft picks under the Boston University banner

Boston University's Adam Clendening went to Chicago at No. 36 overall (photo: Melissa Wade).

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Boston University coach Jack Parker looked like a proud father on Saturday morning after two of his players — Adam Clendening and Matt Nieto — were chosen early in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft.

Clendening was picked by Chicago with the sixth pick on Saturday (36th overall). About 15 minutes later, Nieto watched as San Jose traded up the ladder and picked him with the 47th overall selection.

After Parker and his two top NHL prospects waited through a long day during a fruitless first round on Friday, it took just 30 minutes for all of the excitement to be over on Saturday.

“It’s two early picks, which is great, and two teams that they’re excited to go to,” said Parker, who flew to the Twin Cities on Friday morning to be with his players when they were drafted. “Chicago needs defensemen and [Clendening] was the first defenseman they picked. Matty’s going to his home state and that’s big for him. Those two clubs got good players. They’ll both be NHLers, I believe.”

Now Parker’s job with both Clendening and Nieto — along with players like Charlie Coyle, who was a first-round pick of San Jose a year ago but was traded to Minnesota during Friday’s first round — will be to prepare these players for the NHL. It’s something that isn’t new to Parker, but also something that can be difficult to relish knowing that at any minute, the NHL clubs can come a calling and swipe the talented young stars from their college programs.

“We better make hay with them while we’ve got them here because they won’t stay very long,” Parker said.

And he’s not joking. Coyle could be one of the biggest concerns heading from a San Jose team that was deep at forward to a Minnesota club that might ask him to step in as early as this season. Parker said that he hopes players will stay in college as long as they can and believes that four-year players still wind up being great NHL players.

“It’s a proven fact that most kids who stay [in college] for the four years are the guys who get the longest NHL careers. That weighs in to keeping players around,” Parker said. “But it all depends on what the NHL team’s needs are. If they want to get them out earlier, they usually can.”

Parker said that he continually talks to his players who are NHL draftees. He believes that college is extremely beneficial in building a player physically, something that many know and understand that the biggest college alternative — major junior — can’t offer because of the grueling 80-plus game schedule the players face.

“You have to talk to them about when to stay and when to go,” Parker said. “Our philosophy is, ‘We know exactly when you should leave BU: when you can step directly into the NHL.’ You don’t want to go to the minor leagues. Most of our guys have done that. They’ve gone right from BU into the NHL.

“A lot of that has to do with how good of a job [strength and conditioning coach] Mike Boyle does with these guys. I see a lot of these guys who are getting drafted here. They look like they could use a Mike Boyle. Instead, they’re all off playing major junior and it’s not good for their physical development.

“Our guys know the off-ice training is as important as the on-ice training. It gives them a better chance to step into the NHL and play a long time.”

Video: Adam Clendening:

Video: Matt Nieto:


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  • SCOTTT MARTINEAU

    Congrats to Clendening and Nieto … and especially Garrettt Noonan, who neither bureau even had assigned a ranking.

    Shows the CM pipeline – with former Framingham resident, CM grad & BU defenseman Jeff Kealty (now th Avs Chief Amateiur Scout) – is still alive and kicking.

    Despite the Hockey East changing greatly as the average freshman age has crept upwards with kids coming from the EJHL & USHL, the rumors of Catholic Hockey in Boston are greatly pre-mature.

  • SCOTTT MARTINEAU

    Exsue me – since i cannot edit, what I intended that it say as a last line was SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT:

    Congrats to Clendening and Nieto … and especially Garrettt Noonan, who neither bureau even had assigned a ranking. Hope Coyle doesn’t buy into the Minnesota Wild press release that likened him to an “American Ovechkin” as it was hyperbole (they are not called spin doctors for a reason). & I am surprised that Sahir Gill did not go at all.The picking of noonan, not even rated by either of the major two scouting agencies, shows a) that the Cathoic Memorial pipeline – with former Framingham resident, CM grad & BU defenseman Jeff Kealty (now th Avs Chief Amateiur Scout) – is still alive and kicking. & b) Kealty did a FANTASTIC job keeping Noonan off the radars of the other organizations ALL..Despite the Hockey East changing greatly as the average freshman age has crept upwards with kids coming from the EJHL & USHL, the rumors of the demise of Catholic Hockey in Boston are greatly pre-mature.

    Even in an anamoly like this season where CM was under 500 and thus ineligible for any state tournament, they will be back in the Super Eight soon enough.  Besides, it is healthy that the Super Eight has stopped being the CM Invitational with occasional single season loan outs to BC High or Arlington Catholic, with the occasional public like Reading or Hingham thrown in for good measure is healhy!

    Look at roleplayer Ross Gaudet as another example,

    Also Catholic Conference prodcuct of Austin Prep and of the ECHL’s Bridgewater Bandits. A true walk-on, another example of a young man out of Catholic Conference Hockey who is about to begin his junior season with the Terriers. skating on a 3rd or 4th line most nights.

    Just make sure you follow Colin Wilson & Kevin Shattenkirk and others from that 2008-9 team and stay AT LEAST two or more seasons, Yip, McCarthy, the other Chris Higgins, and Mattie Gilroy stayed all four and delivered Coach his most recent national title. If you all come back next year you can help make certain that it is not his last!

  • Anonymous

    Exuse me again, Kealty is in charge of Amateur Scouring for Nashville, not Avalanche.

    Mea Culpa.

  • Anonymous

    Finally, congrats Coach Parker on a class that rivaled the story class that brought you your 09 Championship. Coyle & Cisse drafted last year. Clendening & Nieto both 2ND round picks this year.  Noonan sneaking in not late but in the 4th round, and Sahir Gill – who while undrafted – many felt showed flashes of being best player in the class last year, and I wonder about some of the seventh rounders taken over him.

    Regardless, while a class where all six seniors – 4 of whom have already played in at leat one NHL game (Lawrence, Yip, Smolinsky, McCarhy, Higgins, & Gilroy all returned for the senior seasons, and Strait as a Junior Captain & soon to be NHL stalwart blueliner Shatty also on the blueline as a junior, not to mention superstar soph Colin Wilson KNOWING it was a special team he needed to return to for his second season) – will likely NEVER all stay together for four years again – especially at a city school – comparisons will forever be made from the 2009 graduating year and the frosh of last year – the 2012 would-be graduates … & I hope more than only one or two of them are around as upperclassmen as they help deliver a sixth national title to Coach Parker.

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