When it rains, it pours. And right now, it pours hardest on Boston College men’s hockey.
On Monday afternoon, the Washington Capitals announced that forward Zach Sanford has signed a three-year entry-level contract. The Capitals drafted the sophomore center with the 61st overall pick of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Had they not signed him, Sanford would have become a free agent after the 2016-17 college hockey season because of his advanced age and draft limits.
A native of Salem, Mass., Sanford completes his two-season career at BC as one of its most dangerous forwards. In 79 games, Sanford compiled 20 goals and 43 assists. As a freshman, Sanford was one of the few weapons on a low-scoring Eagles squad. He notched 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists), the fifth-best total on the roster. Yet Sanford still faced some skittishness, as he was forced to play on the wings and didn’t use his 6-foot-4 frame to his advantage. This past season, Sanford broke out among the nation’s most imposing presences on the ice. Using his big body on a line with his good friend and classmate, Alex Tuch, and captain Teddy Doherty, Sanford compiled 13 goals and 26 assists. His 39 points ranked 40th in the nation and third-best on the team behind Ryan Fitzgerald and Colin White.
His departure comes at a surprising time, as early departures tend to announce they are leaving in the immediate weeks following the Frozen Four. Additionally, Sanford had given no indications of leaving. At the Capitals’ development camp for prospects, Sanford told The Washington Post he had interest in staying at BC.
“I really haven’t thought about it that much,” Sanford said. “I’m just kind of looking forward to going back next year and being an upperclassman and leading there.”
Sanford is the seventh underclassman to leave the Eagles this offseason. He joins defensemen Steve Santini and Ian McCoshen; forwards Miles Wood, Adam Gilmour, and Tuch; and goaltender Thatcher Demko. With Tuch’s and Sanford’s signings, as well as Noah Hanifin’s departure last year, BC men’s hockey no longer has any players in the Class of 2018.
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor