College Hockey: Boston schools remain on top, North Dakota is back, and more

The landscape of college hockey is very interesting at this time.

Boston University Terriers v Boston College Eagles
Boston University Terriers v Boston College Eagles / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

College hockey is as compelling as it has ever been right now. There are so many good players playing at schools all across the country.

Everyone has a different opinion of the rankings or who they think is going to end up winning it all. There are plenty of teams that have an incredibly strong case.

Once the tournament starts this spring, every team that makes it is going to believe that they have a chance to win. Expect the unexpected.

College hockey is as good as it has ever been with all of the talent

Boston College - Boston University

The one thing that you might notice is that Boston College and Boston University are the top two teams in just about every ranking. They are the two best teams in the country and it isn't even close at this point.

If either of them doesn't make it to the Frozen Four, it would be an incredible disappointment. They are each loaded with talent from the top to the bottom of their respective rosters.

For Boston College, "The Freshman Line" drives most of their offense. San Jose Sharks draft pick Will Smith leads the nation in points with 51. His linemate, New York Rangers draft pick Bage Perreault is second with 50. They have been two of the best players in the country this season.

The third member of the line, Washington Capitals draft pick Ryan Leonard, is third in goals of any player in the country with 23. It is going to go down as one of the best lines in college hockey history.

The Freshman Line is also considered to be the second line. Their top line is centered by Cutter Gauthier. Fans might remember him as the player who didn't want to be in the Philadelphia Flyers organization so they traded him to the Anaheim Ducks.

Gauthier, despite all of the off-ice drama, leads the nation in goals with 29. When he scores his 30th, he will be the first BC player to do so since Johnny Gaudreau did it in 2013-14. The depth of this team is incredible and should be a big reason for their upcoming playoff success.

As for Boston University, things start and end with Macklin Celebrini who seems to be getting better with every passing day. He is going to be the number one overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft by whoever wins the lottery.

Right now, Celebrini is third in points with 28 and second in goals with 26. If he can find a way to score four more, he'd have 30 as a freshman which would be incredibly impressive. One NHL team is going to be very lucky to have him soon.

BU also has a stud in Montreal Canadiens draft pick Lane Hutson. He is one of the best draft picks from his class and will be a big-time contributor for BU as they head towards the tournament.

If all of the talent that they have with these two leading the way plays to their strengths when it matters most.

North Dakota is back

College hockey is better when North Dakota is good. They are one of the all-time bluebloods in this game. There have been some elite teams from this program over the years.

They went through a little bit of a downward spiral over the last handful of years though and have been down on their luck.

Now, they are the number three team in the country on just about everyone's list. They are a legitimate threat to win the National Championship. Out of all the teams that present a threat to the two Boston teams, North Dakota is the most dangerous.

Quinnipiac is a threat to repeat

The great program that comes from Quinnipiac is one of the top contenders in the country now. Year after year, they have been a contender. They finally got it done in 2023. Now, they are looking to repeat in 2024.

It is amazing how far this program has come in the last decade. They were once irrelevant and are now one of the top threats. They are a top-seven team according to just about every ranking.

The Big Ten is still a treat to watch

Although Michigan doesn't have Luke Hughes or Adam Fantilli anymore, they are still a very good team that is considered to be a top-15 team by most.

They are one of the top Big Ten teams once again but there are a few others ahead of them these days. Michigan State and Wisconsin are top-five teams and Minnesota is a top-ten team.

Wisconsin and Michigan State are ranked higher but Minnesota has entertaining stars like Oliver Moore, Jimmy Snuggerud, and Sam Rinzel amongst others that make them one of the most exciting teams in the country.

This isn't to say that Michigan State or Wisconsin aren't entertaining or have talented players because they do. They wouldn't be ranked where they are if they didn't.

There is no doubt that the Big Ten Tournament is going to be incredible. These four teams are sure to make it in but their seeding is to be determined. They all have a good chance of making a run.

As mentioned before, all of these teams have a chance to win. There is elite talent all over the country and teams are gearing up for the big tournament. This league is amazing and deserves to be watched by all hockey fans.