North of The Border: O'Brien Bounces Back in The BCHL
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It would be an understatement to say that the 2018-19 season did not go according to plan for Hingham, Mass., native Jay O'Brien. As a freshman at Providence College, he only appeared in 25 games, posting two goals and three assists in that time. It was a season that was plagued with injury starting with a concussion early in the season. After slowly returning to action he suffered an upper-body injury and missed more time.
The Philadelphia Flyers first-round draft pick from 2018 announced in the summer of 2019 he would be leaving school and playing his final year of Junior eligibility for the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).
Never really getting a full Junior hockey experience before playing college hockey, O'Brien spent four years playing prep school hockey in the Northeast, committing to Providence at age 15. He spent his freshmen and sophomore years at Dexter School in Brookline, Mass., before moving on to Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass., for his last two seasons.
During these four years, he also played for the Cape Cod Whalers organization at the U16 and U18 levels. He also spent limited time with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL during his junior and senior seasons, as well as the U.S. National Team Development Program in his senior year. He was a well-established scorer during his prep school years, putting up 80 points in his senior season and finishing his prep career with an average of 1.57 points per game.
Fast forward to this season and O'Brien is producing at a pace fans are used to seeing. Currently sitting at 20-35-55 totals in 38 games for the Vees, he has got his scoring touch back. The 55 points tie him with Michael Colella for highest scoring American in the league, however, he has played 11 fewer games than Colella.
Earlier this season he signed to play for the Boston University Terriers to play out his remaining three seasons of NCAA eligibility. Hopefully, we see O'Brien dawn Philadelphia Flyers orange at some point in the coming years.