Weeks after the Boston College men’s hockey season came to a frustrating end, the Eagles’ returning roster is slowly dwindling. While the seniors are deciding where they will end up post-graduation, some of the underclassmen are making similar decisions. The first to announce his plans was senior captain David Cotton, who signed his entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes alongside his brother Jason.
But in addition to the 12 seniors leaving the team, junior Aapeli Räsänen has decided to forgo his senior season and has inked a two-year contract with Kalevan Pallo, a professional hockey team based out of Kuopio, Finland. Räsänen will be joined by fellow Eagle Jesper Mattila, who also signed a two-year with Kalpa.
The two signings were announced in a tweet by Kalpa on April 9 shortly following a video Kalpa posted of Räsänen and Mattila discussing their decisions.
Over the course of his three years at BC, Räsänen has consistently grown to become a key player on the roster. Aside from his sophomore slump—only collecting seven points over the course of 33 regular season and postseason matchups—Räsänen has been one of the team’s best playmakers. And though he didn’t take as many shots as his teammates, Räsänen had one of the team’s best shot percentages, something that continually got better during his tenure with the Eagles.
Räsänen finished the 2019-20 campaign with 11 goals and 24 points, more than tripling his point total from the season prior and beating his previous career-best that had been set during his freshman year. And this past November, Räsänen hit a milestone with the Eagles, scoring his first career hat trick in the BC’s 5-1 victory over UConn.
Without Räsänen, the Eagles are only turning over half of their 27-player roster. And that’s if all other underclassmen decide to remain with the team. While BC already had its hands full with replacing key talent in the likes of the Mattilas, Cotton, and assistant captain Graham McPhee—among many others—the Eagles will now have yet another roster spot to fill come next August.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor