Boston College is the favorite to win Hockey East this season, according to both the media and coaches around the league. The Eagles received 20 of 35 first-place votes in the league media poll released over the weekend and seven of 12 first-place votes in the coaches poll released Monday at the league’s annual media day event.
Defending Hockey East champion Boston University got three first-place votes in the coaches poll and defending national champion Providence got the other two. In the media poll, BU got seven first-place votes, UMass-Lowell got five, Providence got two and Notre Dame got one.
Besides the coaches poll, the other big news item to come from media day is that BC goalie Thatcher Demko may not be ready for the start of the season. Demko, a Canucks draft pick and preseason All-Hockey East pick by the media, had surgery on both hips after last season.
Demko’s hips had actually been bothering him for several years, but he still managed to put together a strong first two seasons at BC, posting a .919 save percentage in 24 games as a freshman and a .925 in 35 games last year, good for fourth in the league. The expectation is that Demko will be more mobile (not to mention more comfortable) once he’s completely recovered from the surgery.
“He’s not 100 percent yet, but we expect by late October, early November that he should be fully healed,” York said.
The Eagles open the regular season Oct. 9 against Army.
Here are the complete preseason polls from the coaches and media, with points included and first-place votes in parentheses.