(Submitted by Alex Hoegler, BCHL communications)
The Providence College Friars are entering the Hockey East playoffs on an eight-game winning streak, led by former Surrey Eagles forward Brandon Tanev.
The 24-year-old has scored 15 goals this season, which is tied for the team lead with 2012 Calgary Flames’ first-round pick Mark Jankowski.
On a Hockey East conference call with various media outlets Tuesday morning, Friars’ head coach Nate Leaman praised Tanev’s development over his four years with the team.
“He’s a really hard-working player, and he’s got a great motor. He’s fortunate that he has a brother that’s in the NHL that he trains with in the summer,” he said.
Tanev’s older brother, Chris, is in his sixth season with the Vancouver Canucks. He signed with the club as an undrafted free agent in 2010 after his first year with the RIT Tigers of the Atlantic Hockey Association, after helping them to the conference championship.
At Providence, the younger Tanev has increased his goals and points total in each season with the Friars. In 2012-13, his freshman year, he had four goals and 11 points. The following season, he had six goals and 15 points. For 2014-15, he had 10 goals and 23 points and this season, he has 15 goals and is fifth in team scoring with 26 points.
“It’s more about his constant development, his work ethic and he loves to compete. He’s got game-changing speed and a great motor,” said Leaman. “If you have those assets, and the drive he has away from the rink to keep getting better, it makes for a pretty special combination.”
The Friars are set to face the Merrimack College Warriors in the Hockey East quarterfinals, a best-of-three series, where Tanev will face off against his former Eagles teammate, defenceman Matt Cronin. The two played with Surrey for the 2011-12 season.
During the Friars’ current eight-game winning streak, Tanev has scored five goals and added one assist. His contribution helped Providence to a second-place finish in the Hockey East standings, right behind Boston College due to the tiebreaker for top seed.
The Friars are looking to win their first league championship since 1996, though last year’s national title provides proof they are capable of going deep.
Leaman has confidence that Tanev will be able to display his skills in the playoffs.
“He’s having a terrific year this year. There’s many nights (where) he’s been our best forward. I’m really looking forward to him having a good playoff this year.”
Other BCHL alums on the current Providence roster are Josh Monk and Vincent Desharnais. Current BCHLers committed to the program for coming seasons are Jordan Kawaguchi, Vimal Sukumaran, Scott Conway and Chase Zieky.