Junior defenseman and captain Kevin Shattenkirk is expected to sign with the NHL's Colorado Avalanche within the next week, according to BU coach Jack Parker.

Shattenkirk finished this season with career highs in assists (22) and points (29). Those totals were good for second and fifth, respectively, on the team. However, Shattenkirk's defense regressed. Last season, he placed second in the country with a plus-28 rating, but that number dropped to minus-2 this season.

Shattenkirk finishes his BU career with 18 goals and 60 assists for 78 points. He was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team in 2007-08 and the Hockey East Second Team and East Second Team All-America in 2008-09. He was drafted in the first round (14th overall) by Colorado in the 2007 NHL draft.

The Colby Cohen Dilemma

Parker said that junior defenseman Colby Cohen will "probably" sign with the Avalanche as well, but that there's a chance he'll return for his senior season "because of his hip and because of other things that play into his signing."

Cohen had surgery on his hip last summer, but it bothered him throughout the season. He went home for a shot to help ease the pain in November, and although that helped for a little while, the pain came back in the second half.

"It really bothered him the last month," Parker said. "I don’t think he’s going to need surgery for it, but we don’t know that for sure. What should’ve happened is we should’ve kept him out longer, and maybe it would’ve healed better. He felt so good in September, and he wanted to get back in the lineup. We should’ve been much more cautious.

"It was all too good. It held up for a while, but then it started to go downhill. If we held him out until November or something, it might’ve been completely healed, and it might not have been re-aggravated."

If Cohen, who was drafted in the second round (45th overall) by Colorado in 2007, does leave, BU would be left with just six defensemen on the roster for next season.

"We weren’t quite sure we’d lose both Shattenkirk and Cohen," Parker said. "We have a contingency plan for one, but if we lose both, we’re still looking to figure out how we’re going to do that. We have a couple guys on the line that we can get that are good players. It’s not as if we’ll be left holding the bag if Colby leaves."

One possibility would be bumping Alexx Privitera, a 2011 defense recruit, up to 2010, but that isn't very likely considering that he won't turn 18 until January. There are no age restrictions regarding incoming freshmen, but Privitera would have to complete his remaining high-school work and SATs this summer.

Cohen finished this season second on the Terriers with 14 goals and tied for third with 30 points. His awards include Hockey East First Team honors this season and Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player honors last season after he scored the national championship-winning goal.