March is a big month for NCAA hockey and for a few Lightning prospects as well. With the final 16 teams of the NCAA men’s hockey tournament selected earlier this week, here is a look at the future Bolts players to keep an eye on:
Junior forward Brian Hart put together another strong campaign with the Harvard Crimson this past year. He potted a career high seven goals to go along with 17 points, the highest total since his freshman year. Hart finished the season with a plus/minus of plus-five, a new career best. In 97 total collegiate games, Hart has scored 18 goals and 50 points. Hart and the Crimson will take on current Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr’s alma mater, the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks on March 28.
Johnathan Macleod – Boston University
Freshman defender Johnathan Macleod brought the same snarl and tenacity he had with the USA NTDP to the Terriers this season. He currently leads the team in PIM with 54 while also ranking second on the team for plus/minus at plus-17. Through 33 games Macleod has chipped in with two goals and nine points. The Terriers will face off against the Yale Bulldogs in their first round matchup on March 27.
Brendan O’Donnell – North Dakota
Senior forward Brendan O’Donnell had the best year to date of his collegiate career as he helped North Dakota enter the NCAA tournament as the second ranked team. O’Donnell scored 13 goals, six more than his previous best, along with 20 points. Throughout his four years at North Dakota, he has racked up 27 goals and 54 points in 118 games. A little known fact about O’Donnell is that the Fighting Sioux have never lost a game when he scores a goal, going 11-0-1. North Dakota takes on the Quinnipiac Bobcats who are led by another Bolts prospect, Matthew Peca, on March 27.
Senior forward Matthew Peca served as a co-captain for the Bobcats during the 2014-15 season. He posted the second best offensive numbers of his career with seven goals and 36 points in 38 games as he led Quinnipiac back to the round of 16 for only the fourth time in team history. His collegiate career has been quite impressive as he scored 42 goals and 143 points in 156 games. Peca will square off against O’Donnell and the Fighting Sioux on March 27.
Junior goaltender Adam Wilcox continue to be a strong presence between the pipes for the Golden Gophers. Not only did he lead the team in capturing 2015 Big Ten Tournament championship, but he managed to tie a school record with his 13th career shutout. He is currently the leader for most career wins among active NCAA goalies with 73. Wilcox will take on current Lightning forward JT Brown’s alma mater, the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, on March 27.
*Lightning prospect Jimmy Mullin of the Miami Redhawks is redshirting due to an injury.*