GLENDALE -- Coyotes prospect Clayton Keller will lead Boston University into the NCAA Tournament on Friday when the Terriers take on North Dakota, the defending national champs, in Fargo, N.D.
Keller, a freshman, is Boston University's top goal scorer (20) and point producer (42) this season, and recently was named Rookie of the Year by College Hockey News.
"I'm really excited to get started," Keller said on Thursday. "There are so many good teams in this tournament and we're in Fargo playing North Dakota. It's going to be a great atmosphere. We're all really pumped up for that and looking forward to it."
Boston University, which boasts a roster of four first-round and four second-round NHL draft picks, finished the season with a 23-11-3 record. The Terriers are the No. 2 seed in the West Region. North Dakota (21-15-3) is the region's No. 3 seed. The first-round game between them is set for Friday at noon (AZ time) on ESPN2.
"I think we've been playing great hockey lately," Keller said. "We're going to give it our best and hopefully things go the right way. We're going for it all. Ever since the beginning of the season when we looked at our roster we felt that we could do special things. We still believe that."
Keller, whom the Coyotes picked seventh overall at the 2016 NHL Draft, missed eight of Boston University's 37 games because of injury and also because he played for the gold-medal winning U.S. World Junior team. He said he's enjoyed his first college season.
"It's been great," Keller said. "I feel like I've really matured and gotten stronger. I think we have the best strength guys in the country and they put so much work into us to help us out. It's been a great experience for me and I'm really happy that I went this route."
Keller has been watching the Coyotes from afar this season during his free time, and he's looking forward to playing for them in the future.
"It's fun to watch them play, but right now I'm focussed on our team here and what we're trying to accomplish," Keller said.
• Coyotes prospect Jared Fiegl also will play in the NCAA Tournament, for Cornell, the No. 3 seed in the Northeast Region. Cornell (21-8-5) faces No. 2 seed UMass Lowell (26-10-3) in the first round on Saturday at 9 a.m. (AZ time) in Manchester, N.H., on ESPN3.