Home College Rangers Prospects Perreault & Fortescue Play In National Championship

Rangers Prospects Perreault & Fortescue Play In National Championship

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By Warren Kozireski —

They were selected 67 picks apart in the first and third round respectively by the New York Rangers in the June 2023 NHL Entry Draft and now they are teammates and tried to bring Boston College their first national championship since 2012.

Perreault, taken 23rd overall in the first round, was named to the All-American Second Team East, a Hockey East Second Team All-Star and Hockey East All-Rookie Team as the almost 19-year-old forward joined the 60-point club as a freshman. With 41 assists on the season, Leonard sits third in program history for assists by a freshman. He currently sits second in Division 1 in points per game with 1.71.

Fortescue (Pearl River), a third round selection 90th overall, is also almost 19 years old. The 6’2”, 176 lb. left shot registered four goals and four assists in 39 games this season and was a +14 for the top-ranked Eagles. He also was a key cog in helping Team USA to a gold medal at the World Juniors in December/January with four points in seven games against his peers.

“It’s been pretty crazy, it’s been pretty lucky and an unreal opportunity coming up,” Fortescue said the day prior to the national championship. “All the success our team has had…is all the guys who have been doing this together for a while. It’s been pretty special and looking to close this off and continue a hot streak.”

“U-18 Worlds, the draft, World Juniors it’s been a crazy ride, but also fun,” Perreault said.

Developmentally on the ice, both feel they are far ahead of where they were a year ago.

“In college, the opportunity to play against bigger, stronger, older guys and adjusting to that and I think as the year has gone along getting more used to it and being reliable defensively and closing plays,” Fortescue said. “Take away time and space and play hard against them is what I try to do.”

“Definitely I think I’ve gotten a lot faster and stronger as well, so I try to add details into my game, backchecking and d-zone and those little things that are something that I’ve tried to add, but I’ll keep working on those things.”

One thing in favor of both is the transition to college was made easier by the number of games the U.S. National Development Team plays in a season compared to other junior programs.

“It wasn’t as hard; playing 22 college games or something like that last year kind of makes the transition easier.” Perreault said. “The first couple of games are still a bit of an adjustment, but after that it was pretty easy.”

And, after the title game, both are looking forward to Development Camp with the Rangers again this summer.

“The staff, going to the city and obviously they’re a pretty special organization and all the facilities they have there, so it’s a good spot and excited that’s where I ended up.”

(Photos provided by Boston College Athletic Department/Men’s Ice Hockey Program)