It is not often that you see a college player make the jump from Division 3 to Division 1, but Ryan Black is ready to do just that from Babson to the University of New Hampshire.
Black, coming off of his fourth and best season with the Beavers, will swap the green for blue as he heads to Durham for one final collegiate campaign. The 23-year-old earned a share of the 21st annual Joe Concannon Award as the top American-born Division 2/3 college player. Black, who tallied 19 goals and 39 points, was named co-winner of the honor with Endicott goaltender Conor O’Brien.
However, that recognition really was just the beginning for the Pomfret, Conn., native, who announced April 11 that he was taking advantage of the extra year of NCAA eligibility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will compete at a higher level.
“It was in the back of my mind that I would try to exercise the option and just see after the season if there was any opportunity to play Division 1,” Black told New England Hockey Journal. “I know (UNH) coach (Mike) Souza (Wakefield, Mass.) and (Babson) coach (Jamie) Rice (Newton, Mass.) have a good relationship, and I know that they had talked a bit about me before (COVID) even happened.”