BC Alumni Spotlight: Brian Boyle
By Lauren Isserow
While the NHL season has only just begun, Brian Boyle, current New Jersey Devils and former Boston College Eagles forward, finally has a lot to celebrate. On Hockey Fights Cancer night in Pittsburgh, Boyle scored his first career hat trick against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It seems only fitting that Boyle would score three goals on this inspirational night, having just gone into remission himself, after batting leukemia since the beginning of the 2017-2018 season.
Hockey Fights Cancer is the NHL and NHLPA’s initiative to increase awareness for those with cancer and help fundraise for a cure. In the month of November, each team has one designated Hockey Fights Cancer awareness game, where the players wear special purple uniforms during warm-ups. Boyle’s wife, Lauren, was recently selected as an ambassador for Hockey Fights Cancer to advise others with cancer and assist in fundraising for this campaign.
Boyle was first diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia after a routine blood test at the end of training camp showed unusual results. Even though his diagnosis occurred before his first game as a Devil, he received an outpouring of support from teammates, their families and fans. However, on October 24th, the forward announced that his cancer has gone into “full molecular remission and that [he feels] really good”. Boyle will continue his medication and will be frequently monitored.
This season, Boyle appears stronger than ever. He played in his 700th NHL game this season– a significant milestone, and scored a natural hat trick on November 5th, as the first Devils’ hat trick in Pittsburgh since 2000.
Boyle’s strength has been seen throughout his entire career, especially after his cancer diagnosis. Despite receiving treatment for his cancer, Boyle played in 69 games for the Devils last season. Boyle, a beloved member of the Devils, was noticed for his “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey” during his battle with cancer. He was awarded the Bill Masterson Award by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. Boyle scored 13 goals, and was selected to his first All Star Game in the 2017-2018 season.
Boyle is currently in the final year of the two year contract that he signed with the Devils. He played for the Boston College Eagles from 2003-2006, after being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Boyle joins several other notable Boston College hockey alumni including Miles Wood and Cory Schneider as members of the Devils.