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Becoming a Wildcat: Junior Bruins’ Griffin signs NLI with University of New Hampshire

By Joshua Boyd/USPHL.com, 05/07/19, 2:15PM EDT

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Robby Griffin had an amazing United States Premier Hockey League career, skating in 113 NCDC games after a USPHL 16U career that saw him skate in 58 contests. 

All of that came after a youth hockey career in the Minuteman Flames organization, part of the Eastern Hockey Federation. His USPHL career was capped with winning the NCDC’s Dineen Cup championship.

While the Burlington, Mass., native could still be eligible for up to three more junior seasons, he joined with his family and the University of New Hampshire coaching staff in deciding that it’s time to take his game to the NCAA Division 1 level. On Sunday, May 5, it was announced that Griffin signed a National Letter of Intent to join the UNH Wildcats as a true freshman this fall. 

“I was fully focused on the season and then the playoffs, but my family and I talked after the season and we felt I was ready to go to college now,” said Griffin, on Monday. “A couple days after that, I talked to the UNH staff. I had met Coach [Mike] Souza before, so I knew him going into the process. I toured the campus and I loved it.

“After two years of 16U and two years of juniors, they also felt I was ready,” added Griffin. 

Griffin was an NCDC All-Star, and a major offensive contributor for the Dineen Cup champion Junior Bruins, earning 34 assists and 42 points in all 50 regular season games. He also registered seven assists and nine points in eight playoff games. 

Griffin will head to campus in Durham, N.H., and work to play himself into a regular offensive contributor at the next level. He’ll join former Junior Bruins Charlie Kelleher, Joe Cipollone and Mike Robinson with the Wildcats this fall.

“They didn’t mention any role or anything, but they said they have confidence in me as a player, and if I can keep progressing from where I am, they’ll do their best to make sure I’m on the ice,” said Griffin. “You like to hear that, that the coaches have confidence in you, as long as you do your job.” 

While standing 6 feet tall, Griffin weighed in at 176 this past season. He’s hoping to add about 5-10 pounds of muscle during the off-season in order to withstand the rigors of the NCAA Division 1 game as an 18-year-old against - in some cases - 24-year-old seniors. 

“For me, this summer is more about lifting than skating. I’m not going to play in any summer tournaments as I have in the past, I’m just going to be in the gym,” he added. “Going in as a true freshman at 185 or even 190 is my main goal. I will skate a little to stay sharp.”

He has the perfect summer job for a young Division 1 hockey player, as well. He will work with Peter Russo Skills, working with younger groups this summer. 

 

A Career Junior Bruin

Griffin is grateful to the ownership and coaching staff of the Boston Junior Bruins, with whom he’s spent the last four very productive years. Along with his NCDC coaches on the bench, Mike Anderson and John Butler, Griffin also wanted to extend his gratitude to all with the organization who helped him these last four years.  

“I’d like to thank the whole Junior Bruins organization in general,” said Griffin. “I spent my whole time in high school with them. They’ve been great at getting college and pro scouts out to the games, and working practices around high school schedules.

“The NCDC got me ready for college hockey because it’s a very similar environment. Going into the NCDC as a young player is similar to going into college hockey as a true freshman,” said Griffin. “I feel like it’ll help me adjust quicker to college hockey and being a 200-foot player there.” 

The USPHL congratulates Robby Griffin, his family and wishes him and the University of New Hampshire the best of luck in their future together.