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Hockey East is changing as a whole, not the conference it used to be. UMass is killing it this year, providence and NE not their best years but doing well. After that, the rest are in the bottom 30 out of 60 with Merrimack at 54-77 goals against in 10 games - Bad showing for HE. Things are definitely changing.
No different than canada now losing regularly in would junior tournaments. More competition. Same goes for NCAA. New programs with deep pockets, great facilities etc are going to change the landscape.
Didn’t you know that all the best players are now playing club hockey?
It's mainly because of the decline of high school hockey thanks to the USPHL. Fifteen players on University of Minnesota-Duluth last season are from Minnesota. Only two players on UMass were from Massachusetts. Hockey is no longer viable in New England.
Dumb. There are a few more D1 schools around than in MN. Check all the rosters and there are planty of MA and NE kids.
Studs will be studs. They don’t play USPHL. That hasn’t changed. What has changes is the current dev model is about moving the masses to be good D3 college players. So overall, more players are developing, locally though, not a good option for the studs.
There are over 50 Mass players alone in HE, so development isn't really at the crux of why BU & BC have fallen off. To the OP's question, BU & BC seem to be recruiting all-stars vs teams. They were getting the most skilled players but you still need 3rd & 4th line guys and that can be a difficult transition for a kid whose been #1 on every team he's ever played on since he was six.