Bill Arnold — Center
Hometown: Needham, Mass. Birthdate: May 13, 1992
Current Team: Boston College (HEA)
NHL Rights: Calgary Flames (2010, 4th Rd., 108th Overall)
National Team Experience: National Team Development Program (2009-10), U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team (gold, 2010); U.S. Under-17 Select Team (2008)
After a solid showing at the 2011 National Junior Evaluation Camp, Bill Arnold has been on a tear in his sophomore season at Boston College. With 12 points through BC’s first eight games, Arnold leads the team and is among the nation’s leaders in points.
He’s only been held off the scoresheet in two games so far this season. For his efforts, he was named Hockey East’s player of the month for October.
Arnold has always been gifted offensively, with a knack for scoring and an unrivaled work ethic on the ice. His 215-pound frame makes him tough to play against and near impossible to out-muscle.
As a fourth-round pick, Arnold may not have the pedigree of some of his competition to make the U.S. National Junior Team, but he plays a style Dean Blais can get behind. Arnold also has previous international experience.
The other key factor in Arnold’s candidacy is that he’s been the most productive player on the nation’s No. 1 team. He’s significantly contributing to the success of one of the nation’s elite college squads. That brings confidence, which can lead to reliability on the big stage.
That international familiarity and early-season success make him look like a very attractive option for Blais and his staff.
Oddly enough, Arnold didn’t register a single point in the Junior Eval camp, but played a very dependable two-way game and that’s likely the kind of role he’d play on Team USA. Despite not scoring, he brought something to the table that’s hard to find. He may not have the skill to be a top-six guy, but he does possess the type of tools you’d love to see on the third line with that strong presence down the middle. The ability to play good defensive minutes, while also providing scoring depth is something the Junior team will covet.
Arnold’s versatility gives him an edge and should he keep up his stellar play for BC, he looks less like a borderline pick and more like a no-brainer.
Notes on Arnold:
– Played one season at the National Team Development Program, putting up 51 points for the vaunted 1992 birth years.
– Prior to joining the NTDP, he skated for Nobles & Greenough, where he played on a line with WJC candidates Charlie Coyle and Kevin Hayes. Arnold dominated the Prep level with 55 points in 29 games in his junior season at Nobles.
– Also a product of the Boston Jr. Bruins hockey club
– Led BC freshmen with 20 points last season.
– Arnold’s Boston College Bio
– Arnold’s USA Hockey Bio
Every week, until the U.S. National Junior Team’s pre-tournament camp roster is announced, United States of Hockey will highlight a candidate for the team. We’ll be taking a look at players from the near locks to the dark-horse candidates to the out-of-left-field possibilities.