The annual Beanpot college hockey tournament is a rite of passage every year in Boston where the four schools (Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, and Northeastern) represented do battle on the first two Mondays in February. The tournament sets its winner up seemingly every year for a long run at the end of the season and in three of the last four years that run ended in a National Championship (BC in 2008, BU in 2009, BC in 2010). This year the Eagles of Boston College emerged victorious in the championship game in an OT thriller for the ages despite the outstanding game had by Predators prospect defenseman Garrett Noonan. Noonan, the Predators 4th Round pick in this past draft became the fifth NCAA defenseman to hit double digits in goals on the season following his two goal effort this season and is well on his way to becoming another Predators diamond in the rough pick. The cross continental road he is on to the Music City has been one that would make any country singer proud.
Noonan a native of Norfolk, Massachusetts played his high school hockey at perennial powerhouse Catholic Memorial for legendary coach Bill Hanson. After going undrafted in 2009 and needing a postgraduate year of hockey before he could play Division I Garrett went 3,000 miles west to the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League. In Vernon Noonan helped the Vipers capture the prestigious RBC Cup and was awarded with a scholarship to Boston University (about eight miles and twenty minutes away from Catholic Memorial) to play for yet another legendary coach in Jack Parker. Despite his BU commitment and RBC Cup Noonan’s name was not called on draft day 2010 too. Putting this in his rearview as a freshman Garrett emerged as a top four defenseman for the Terriers and turned in a solid first year campaign with fifteen points and a team leading 89 penalty minutes. Despite the team’s inconsistencies Garrett was a rock solid force on the back end playing an adept two way game. Finally at the urging of Preds scout and fellow Catholic Memorial alum Jeff Kealty Noonan’s name was called by an NHL teamthe Predators drafted Noonan with the 112th pick in this past draft. This season has been anything but a sophomore slump as Garrett, playing alongside Blackhawks prospect Adam Clendening has matched his totals from last year in nearly every category as the Terriers look to make a run at the NCCA title. In yet another example of the Predators making a smart draft pick of a player overlooked by other teams Noonan looks to have a bright future in professional hockey making 29 other teams rue the day(s) they passed over him, as Predators fans we’ll take the extra motivated kid from the Bay State on our side any day.
To go along with the piece celebrating Garrett’s tremendous game I included a prospect profile on the BU defenseman