"There’s about 4,000 college hockey players in Division 1 and Division 3, and that’s not a huge number. So, if you make any level of college hockey, you’re a really good player,” Babson coach Jamie Rice emphasized.
Of course, he has a point. Also using Keith Aucoin (Chelmsford, Mass.) as a talking point, the coach reminded that there have been recent examples of Division 3 players finding success at the professional level. It seems that every year the gap between both divisions narrows just a little bit more.
Mike Völlmin soon might be another name to reference. Coming out of New Hampton School, Völlmin was trying to plot out his future in both school and hockey.
“I applied to Babson coming out of New Hampton … and I got straight-up rejected,” Völlmin playfully recalled. This setback helped push him to the junior ranks, with the Northern Cyclones. After Völlmin put together a strong year there, Rice (Newton, Mass.) had a little more leverage in arguing for the defenseman to join the college. While Völlmin did consider another year of juniors and making a push for a Division 1 program, he decided not to tempt fate too much. “If I broke my leg playing juniors, then I lose everything I’ve worked for. Babson is a really good school, has a pretty good business program. I felt like it was my type of people,” Völlmin said.