Matt O’Connor is the goaltender for the Boston University Terriers and has turned a lot of heads due to his stout play this season.
The 22-year-old was born on Valentines Day in 1992, and has become a favorite for NCAA men’s hockey fans to watch this season along with teammate Jack Eichel. He is also enrolled in the School of Management, majoring in business administration and management.
Here else is what you need to know about O’Connor:
1. O’Connor Wasnt Expected to Be a No. 1 Goalie
Before coming to BU, O’Connor Spent spent two seasons with Youngstown, helping the Phantoms reach 2012 USHL Eastern Conference semifinals.
BU entered 2014-15 without a clear-cut No. 1 goalie in net, and there was a small doubt if that goalie was on the roster. Luckily, O’Connor emerged. In an interview with the Boston Globe, BU head coach David Quinn always trusted that O’Connor could eventually put it together:
I just felt that knowing him and knowing the situation, I felt like this was going to allow him to emerge as the goalie we all knew he could be. I think he was excited about the opportunity. I think there was a mental peace with him.
2. O’Connor Has His Best Season as a Junior
O’Connor’s freshman and sophomore seasons were solid, but they each weren’t anything spectacular. This year, O’Connor was one of the best goalies in the Hockey East conference and in the nation. He was named:
– Hockey East All-Tournament Team
– Hockey East Second Team All-Star
– He also Led Hockey East in winning percentage (.812)
3. O’Connor Has Made 33 Starts This Season
O’Connor wasn’t nearly as playing as much in BU’s first two seasons as they were juggling their goaltending situation. O’Connor definitively took the job and ran with it in 2014. His statistics in his junior season have taken a small spike and are more indicative of his potential down the line as a National Hockey League goalie:
|2012-2013 Boston University||19||8||8||2||2.86||0.91|
|2013-2014 Boston University||22||7||9||4||2.89||0.92|
|2014-2015 Boston University||34||25||3||4||2.13||0.928|
Boston University Is Playing in the National Championship Game
Boston University entered the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Hockey Tournament as one of the top four seeds and the No. 3 seed overall. BU has defeated Yale 3-2, Minnesota-Duluth 3-2 and North Dakota 5-3 in the National Semifinal en route to playing Providence for the National Championship.
O’Connor has been steady, but made this one bad play against North Dakota, however, it did not cost BU the game.
5. OConnor Could Potentially Be On the NHL Radar
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that up to 14 teams may be inquiring about O’Connor services immediately after this season. Half of those teams are looking at O’Connor entering the NHL as soon as next season.
Surprisingly, the five teams with the most interest in him are all Canadian teams: Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary. Vancouver has Ryan Miller, but may lose Eddie Lack. Calgary has Jonas Hiller, but maybe looking for a younger option for the future. Ottawa has Robin Lehner, Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond. Toronto has Jonathan Bernier, but looks to be entering a rebuild phase. Two other teams interested in O’Connor are Arizona and Buffalo.
Buffalo presents the best opportunity for O’Connor to start immediately.