PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Boston College head coach Jerry York has been revered by many of his charges as someone who can take all of the pieces of a players game and put the puzzle together.
He has built a program that has made Boston College a traditional hockey power in the NCAA and as such, has promoted plenty of players into the NHL.
Bill Arnold is one of those individuals who credits the long-time Eagles coach for his ability to move forward with his career and play professional hockey.
"I don’t know if I can put it into words, but Coach York has been unbelievable for me that last four years, just giving me the opportunity to come to Boston College," Arnold told CalgaryFlames.com after signing an entry-level deal with the team. "Every day he comes to the rink and he’s able to teach you something new. He makes you not just a better hockey player but a better person off the ice too."
A quick glance at Arnold's stats shows the strides he has made over his four years under York. He's scored 10+ goals and has hit 20+ points in each season with the Eagles and has seen his plus/minus rating rise from plus-10 in his freshman season to plus-43 in his senior year.
This year, he is sixth in the nation in scoring with 14 goals and 53 points through 40 games and finished third in team scoring, trailing linemates Johnny Gaudreau and Kevin Hayes.
"It’s been amazing," Arnold said. "Kevin and Johnny are two of my best friends off the ice and the chemistry we had on the ice translated really well. It’s been a blast to play with them all year. They’re two of the best hockey players I’ve ever played with."
Arnold points to his off-ice workouts as an area that has really helped round out his game.
The Eagles coaching staff are strong believers in getting players into effective conditioning regimens and Arnold has spent plenty of time in gym and working on getting his diet balanced.
"I’ve dropped close to 25-pounds since I joined college, something that coach York worked with me and motivated me to do," Arnold said.
His progression under York's watchful eye hasn't gone unnoticed by those outside of Boston College or the Flames organization.
Kirk Luedeke is a regional scout for Red Line Report and a contributor for the New England Hockey Journal and the New York Hockey Journal and has seen his fair share of Arnold's play over the last five years.
He noted how Arnold's time at Boston College has helped him blossom into a strong two-way player.
"Billy was a highly-regarded prep player at Nobles (Noble & Greenough School) before he joined the U.S. National Team,” Luedeke said via email. “He's grown tremendously under head coach Jerry York and that Boston College coaching staff both in terms of the development of his skills, but [also] with his fitness and dedication to building his body towards an effective pro career.
"He's a solid two-way player whose versatility will serve him well at the next level. He earned the trust of the BC coaches early on, and has steadily progressed each year. He's a smart, industrious player who has improved his skating and is someone the team counts on in all situations."
Moving forward, Arnold is going to take what he learned during his time at Boston College and apply to his off-season training.
He wants to ensure he's fully prepared for his first professional season and the rigors of playing double the amount of games than that of a collegiate calendar.
"I’ll be working out and skating all summer. I think the focus for me this summer is going to be my foot speed. My first few steps, I want to improve there.
"The NHL game is definitely a faster paced game than college so that’s where my main focus is going to be."
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