Boston College men’s hockey defensive corps will be getting a boost for the second half of the 2018-19 season, with the Eagles announcing on Sunday afternoon the addition of transfer defenseman Ben Finkelstein to the roster.
Finkelstein, a 21-year-old from South Burlington, Vermont, enrolls as a second-semester junior and will wear No. 6 for BC. A 2016 seventh-round pick of the Florida Panthers, Finkelstein will provide a boost for the Eagles, who currently rank fifth in Hockey East in scoring defense. BC currently has just one defenseman in the top-20 for scoring at their position, but Finkelstein has the potential to shake that up.
“It was everything I was looking for. It felt right,” he said of his choice to come to Chestnut Hill in an interview with FloridaPanthers.com. “It felt like the place I wanted to play my college hockey.”
He’ll join the Eagles after starting his collegiate career at St. Lawrence in 2016-17. There, Finkelstein had an immediate impact, posting the third-most points of a first-year player in program history. The defenseman played 37 games as a freshman and totaled 23 points on five goals and 18 assists. The next season, after playing 20 games and recording 12 points in the first semester, Finkelstein opted to leave the program to head to the USHL and pursue transfer opportunities.
In a span of a week, Finkelstein had gone from playing college hockey in Canton, New York, to semi-professional hockey in Waterloo, Iowa, for the USHL’s Black Hawks. He had no problems adjusting to the change of scenery, though, piling up 34 points (eight goals, 26 assists) in just 23 regular season games for Waterloo. That earned him USHL Defenseman of the Year and First Team All-Star honors, remarkable for a player that played just a third of his team’s games.
He continued to find success in the postseason, helping lift the Black Hawks to a semifinals appearance with two goals and four assists in eight playoff games. Overall, he was a plus-15 while on the ice for Waterloo, a strong showing that bodes well for his move to the Eagles’ blue line.
Per transfer rules, Finkelstein had to sit out the first semester at Boston College, but will be eligible to suit up for the Eagles for the first time on Jan. 11 against Providence. He was a top-pairing defenseman at St. Lawrence, so it’ll be interesting to see where the junior ends up on the line chart. He made the trip with the team to Notre Dame to practice, and additionally joined them in Tempe, Ariz., for this weekend’s games against Arizona State.
“I’m not going to be able to play until Christmas, so I’m going to have to just go in there and get to work right away and hopefully prove that I can play with them,” Finkelstein added.
Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Staff