April 10, 2012

Leaving the nest: Five members of champion Eagles turn pro

By Jesse Connolly

After capturing the national championship for the third time in five years, Boston College knew full well they’d be saying goodbye to more than just their crop of seniors. On Tuesday, a wave of departures began that saw five Eagles officially join the pro ranks. Two of them will forgo a fourth year at The Heights.

Tommy Cross (Simsbury, Conn.), seen here holding the Beanpot Trophy, is expected to make his pro debut with the P-Bruins on Friday. (Dave Arnold Photography)

As has been expected for some time now, the New York Rangers came to terms with junior Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass.). Kreider, the Eagles’ leading scorer with 45 points this past season, will begin practicing with the Blueshirts on Wednesday.

Rangers GM Glen Sather, who selected Kreider 19th overall in the 2009 draft, believes the 6-foot-3 forward has what it takes to step right into the team’s lineup. The Rangers begin their playoff series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. In joining the team this season, Kreider will automatically burn up the first season of his three-year, entry-level contract.

Undrafted senior Barry Almeida (Springfield, Mass.) has reportedly signed a deal with the Washington Capitals’ organization and will join the club’s AHL affiliate in Hershey. After scoring 23 goals in his first three seasons at BC, the 23-year-old forward had a breakout year in 2011-12, scoring 22 goals and adding 18 assists. Hershey (38-23-4-8) already locked up a playoff spot in the AHL’s Eastern Conference.

Defenseman Brian Dumoulin (Biddeford, Maine), one of the ten finalists for this year’s Hobey Baker Award, won’t be coming back for his senior season. The 20-year-old junior rearguard inked a three-year, entry-level deal with the Hurricanes Tuesday. Carolina selected him 51st overall back in 2009.

During his three years at BC, Dumoulin racked up 83 points in 123 contests. Even more impressive was the dependable d-man’s plus-90 rating during his collegiate career. Dumoulin’s deal carries an NHL cap hit of a little over $740,000. The 20-year-old defenseman received a $270,000 signing bonus and was immediately sent to join the team’s AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, on an amateur tryout basis.

Team captain Tommy Cross (Simsbury, Conn.), drafted 35th overall way back in 2007, signed an entry-level deal with the Bruins and is expected to report to Providence where he’ll make his pro debut on Friday. Plagued by knee injuries in the past, Cross has made big strides during his tenure with the Eagles. He capped it off with his best collegiate season yet with five goals and 19 assists in 2011-12.

According to a photo tweeted by his teammate, Almeida, senior Paul Carey (Weymouth, Mass.) recently made his transition to the pros official, signing on with the Colorado Avalanche. The 6-foot-1 forward, who scored what proved to be the game-winner in the national championship against Ferris State, buried 45 goals during his four-year run at BC. He was selected 135th overall by the Avs in 2007.