According to BC coach Jerry York, at least, the answer is “yes.” York had this to say.
“We’re very excited that both Brian Dumoulin and Chris Kreider have decided to return to Boston College for their junior seasons. Both players have had very impressive freshman and sophomore seasons and we expect both to be leaders of our club in 2011-12. Brian and Chris embody what we strive for in a Boston College hockey player. They’re interested in education and active in the community and we’re very pleased that each will be back as juniors.”
Now, this is hardly an official commitment. Derek Stepan claimed that he was going to return to Wisconsin for his senior season last Spring, only to change his mind in June and sign with the Rangers. There’s still plenty of time for Chris to change his mind. Or for Sather, Tortorella, Gordie Clark, and/or Kreider’s agent to convince him to change his mind. Still, the fact that Kreider went as far as having a discussion with York and committing to another season with BC isn’t exactly a step towards turning pro. Only when we hear from the Rangers that Kreider will indeed be staying at BC will I fully accept that to be the truth. On one hand, he’ll be BC’s feature forward if he does return, given that Cam Atkinson, Brian Gibbons, and Jimmy Hayes aren’t returning. Still, I’d prefer that Chris submerges himself in the professional game sooner than later and gets specific attention from our minor league and NHL coaching staff. There is even the possibility of him earning a spot on the Rangers next season. We’ll have to wait and see. For now, consider this unofficial but also significant.