Sports, Hockey, Men's Hockey

Letourneau Becomes BC’s 26th First-Rounder, Stiga and Skahan Round Out Eagles’ 2024 Draft Class

Dean Letourneau, a 6-foot-7 forward from Braeside, Ontario, and incoming Boston College men’s hockey freshman, was drafted by the Boston Bruins with the 25th overall pick on Friday in the 2024 NHL Draft. He is the 26th first-round draft pick in program history—a tally that ranks second in NCAA history.

Letourneau’s height puts him up with the tallest professional hockey players to ever play the sport. His draft comparison on NHL’s live broadcast from the Las Vegas Sphere was Tage Thompson, a 6-foot-6 winger who plays for the Buffalo Sabres and also shoots from the right side.

But Letourneau’s skating and agility are impressive for a bigger forward, St. Andrew’s College head coach David Manning told NHL.com. His athleticism is above average, according to Manning. NHL Central Scouting’s Nick Smith said Letourneau’s soft hands and good feet make him dangerous around the net in the mid-to-close range.

Before the draft, Central Scouting ranked Letourneau the No. 23 North American skater heading into the draft.

Letourneau led St. Andrew’s, a prep hockey team from Aurora, Ontario, which competes at the U18-AAA Prep level, with 127 points—61 goals and 66 assists—in 56 games last season. Letourneau also posted 14 goals and 11 assists in 14 Prep Hockey Conference games.

While Letourneau told NHL.com that his original dream was to play in the Ontario Hockey League––one of the Canadian Hockey League’s three major junior ice hockey leagues––the long list of players from St. Andrew’s who developed into division-one skaters convinced Letourneau to attend prep school instead.

St. Andrew’s varsity roster has produced an NHL draft pick every year since 2017, and Letourneau just became its first first-round pick ever.

“The development I had there was unlike any other,” Letourneau said to NHL.com. “So the fact that I could get a great education while also getting great hockey was a sealed deal for me there.”

A similar story played out with how BC attracted the 210-pound attackman, even though his original plan was to play with Sioux Falls in the United States Hockey League and then debut at BC in 2025–26.

Beyond its excellent hockey pedigree, BC’s strong academics were also appealing for Letourneau. Lucky for him and his family, Letourneau’s college career will take off in the same town that drafted him Friday night—Boston.

The Eagles’ 2024 draft class finished with two second-round selections.

The Nashville Predators picked incoming forward Teddy Stiga at No. 55, and the newest expansion franchise in professional American sports, the Utah Hockey Club, drafted incoming defenseman Will Skahan at No. 65.

Stiga and Skahan’s backgrounds are similar to those of Cutter Gauthier, Will Smith, and Ryan Leonard, among others on BC’s 2023–24 roster, in that their amateur careers were comprised of stints for the U.S. National Team Development Program.

Stiga tallied 79 points, with 36 goals and 43 assists, for the U.S. National Under-18 Team in 2023–24. In the most recent IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, the lefty shooter potted six goals with five assists in seven games to help Team USA capture silver.

A native of Sudbury, Mass., Stiga’s hometown lies just half an hour away from Chestnut Hill.

Skating in 60 games for the U.S. Under-18 team last season, Skahan registered 14 points, with five goals and nine assists, from the backline. Skahan’s size is notable, even for a defenseman, with his 6-foot-4 frame. The left-handed defenseman hails from Woodbury, Minn.

While age prevented him from being selected in this year’s draft, there is no incoming prospect for BC who is more anticipated than James Hagens. Letourneau added to an impressive number of first-rounders from the Eagles’ all-time ranks, but Hagens is poised to be the Eagles’ first No. 1 overall pick ever, according to most projections for 2025.

July 5, 2024

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