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Insider

The NHL timeline for McAvoy, Keller

Charlie McAvoy and his Boston University teammates take on North Dakota on Friday. How soon will he be skating for the Bruins? Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

For college hockey fans, it’s a game between two historical powers. When North Dakota and Boston University square off on Friday afternoon in Fargo, North Dakota (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2), it’s a game featuring two schools that have combined for 44 Frozen Four appearances with hopes of increasing that number.

“We feel like we have a team that can do something special,” said BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy during a Wednesday afternoon phone conversation from Fargo. “It’s pretty much behind enemy lines here. They’re going to be flooded with North Dakota fans and North Dakota people. It’s going to be a lot.”

It should be a great game in a great atmosphere. But for NHL fans who may not know BU from BC, there’s intrigue as well.

This particular game is loaded high-end NHL prospects.

College Hockey, Inc. deputy executive director Nate Ewell did the math -- 18 percent of ESPN Insider prospect guru Corey Pronman’s 45 top-ranked NHL prospects are playing in this one game. That’s eight players competing in one game who are considered high-end prospects, including McAvoy (No. 15 on Pronman’s list), Tyson Jost (No. 6), Jordan Greenway (No. 45) and the No. 1 overall prospect, Clayton Keller. Terriers goalie Jake Oettinger is a candidate to go in the first round of June’s draft.

NHL fans won’t have to wait long to see some these players, either.

According to an NHL source, the Coyotes plan to sign Keller and get him NHL action this season if possible when his season is over. McAvoy raved about his Boston University teammate on Wednesday.

“He’s very dynamic. He’s very elusive,” McAvoy said of Keller. “He lacks a bit in the size department but it’s never slowed him down. He’s someone who has great skill, great hands, great hockey sense. He can shoot the puck as well. He’s a fast, speedy player and he’s able to get around the bigger guys. He’s slippery.”

The plan for McAvoy isn’t quite as clear after his season concludes. Let’s dive into that with the first question in our weekly mailbag: