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Bolstering the Blueline

by Mike Lewis / Florida Panthers

Ian McCoshen will have a big void to fill in 2015-16.

Now entering his junior season, the Boston College defenseman will look to anchor a blueline that will be without Captain and fellow Florida Panthers prospect Michael Matheson, as well as the fifth overall pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, Noah Hanifin (Carolina Hurricanes).

The absence of Matheson and Hanifin on the BC backend creates opportunity for a young McCoshen. Coming off of his best season with the Eagles, McCoshen is primed to take the next step in his development. The six-foot-three, 215-pound blueliner posted 16 points (6-10—16) in 35 games with the Eagles last season. McCoshen led the team’s defensemen with six goals, while finishing second on BC with a +14 rating and leading the team with 64 blocked shots.

Since joining Boston College in the 2013-14 season, Florida’s 2013 second round pick (31st overall) has been linked to Matheson, Florida’s 2012 first round pick (23rd overall). Growing together on the BC backend and at the Panthers annual Development Camp, the two defensemen have both been seen as important pieces to Florida's future.

Guiding the way on and off of the ice for McCoshen, Matheson has been an important influence for his teammate.

“Obviously Michael’s done a good job at [creating] a path for myself and other young defensemen in the BC program,” said McCoshen. “Developing as a whole, as a person and a hockey player. I think that carries over into the pro lifestyle.”

With Matheson making the jump to the pros at the end of the 2014-15 season, McCoshen will now be counted on to help fill the void not only on the ice, but off of the ice as well. Named an Assistant Captain by BC Head Coach Jerry York for the upcoming season, McCoshen is grateful for the opportunity and is looking forward to the task at hand.

“There’s going to be four Captains and I was selected to be one of them,” said McCoshen. “I’m very fortunate for that. We have a good core of guys so I’m really looking forward to the year.”

“I think I’ve matured a lot being in college for two years, going on my third year. I’ve identified my game and I’m trying to keep building off of that…A big, physical defenseman that takes care of his own end, jumps up into the rush and contributes offensively when needed.”

A mobile defender with a booming shot and shutdown ability, the soon-to-be-20-year-old has excelled in his game, as he has continues to develop into a reliable defenseman that can be trusted in all situations. Those very qualities could pay dividends for Boston College this upcoming year as he transitions into an expanded role for Coach York and the Eagles.

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