The National Collegiate Development Conference provided the opportunity to keep playing that helped Ryan Rosborough (and so many others) find a hockey home and eventually reach their goal of an NCAA commitment.
The 2000-born Mount Brydges, Ont., native played the 2020-21 season first with the Junior Bruins and then completed the second half of the year with the South Shore Kings.
Posting 29 points in 37 total regular season games - plus playing in three playoff games for the Kings - he certainly got the most out of his single season in the NCDC. However, there was no greater indicator of the impact on the USPHL’s Tier-II Tuition-Free league than making his NCAA Division I commitment with St. Cloud State University.
“I started talking to St. Cloud State University when we got back from Hub City Tampa. They looked over some video of me, and then it all took root from there,” said Rosborough. “I was in contact with the coaches there, and things kind of just kept moving from there.”
St. Cloud State University has been a staple of the NCAA Tournament since the start of the 21st century, appearing in 14 national tournaments in the 22 seasons since 1999-2000. This included Frozen Fours in 2013 and this past spring, going up against eventual National Champion UMass in the 2021 title game.
“[A big selling point was] the culture they’ve been building over the years. They had a very successful season, making it to the championship game. Their facilities are top-notch, they have a great fan base, and the coaches were super-transparent with me over the whole process,” said Rosborough. “Obviously, getting injected into a lineup like that, you’re surrounded by top-notch players. I’m going to get to learn from some really good players, really good student-athletes in terms of how they go about their business.”
Rosborough brings great size (6-feet-3-inches, 190 pounds), obviously a bear’s nose for offense and a strong two-way game. In just 16 games with the Kings, he was their plus-minus leader at plus-9.
“[St. Cloud State] liked my size, my frame and my hockey IQ. I’m a super reliable player,” said Rosborough. “They see a lot of potential down the road in my college career.”
“The South Shore Kings organization is very proud to announce that Ryan Rosborough has committed to play hockey at St. Cloud State. Ryan was brought in mid-season and from that point we acquired a true 200-foot player who excelled as one of the top centers in the league,” said Kings Head Coach Drew Omicioli. “Rosy immediately gave us excellent leadership and his offensive skill and defensive play allowed us to climb the ranks of the NCDC and make us a true contender in the league. We are very excited for Ryan and we know he is in great hands with a first class staff and organization in St. Cloud State.”
Also helping with his potential in college was being able to play with and against more than 60 NCAA Division I-bound players - not to mention three 2021 NHL Draft Picks - during the 2020-21 season.
“It was my only season of NCDC hockey and I loved it. It’s a great league. Being surrounded by so many D-1 commits, it was great competition, especially for my last kick at the can,” said Rosborough.
Being in training camp for the same Canadian Tier-II team he’d played with from 2018-20, he was a bit heartbroken when that team would not be able to compete for 2020-21 due to COVID. But that didn’t last, as he was very quickly in contact with Junior Bruins Head Coach Mike Anderson.
“I didn’t know my future, but I had a phone call with Coach Anderson, hopped on a plane and the next thing you know, I was playing games in New Jersey. I played great games with great teammates in a great organization,” said Rosborough.
During the winter, Rosborough was introduced by Coach Anderson to the Kings, where existed an even greater opportunity to showcase his on-ice wares.
“It was probably the easiest transition I’ve ever had. [At Hub City Tampa’s host lodging facility Saddlebrook Resort], I literally packed up my bag and walked a minute to a different condo cluster,” said Rosborough. “I finished the year with South Shore, another great organization surrounded by great people like Coach Drew Omicioli and Coach Tyler Holske. It was really fun to hop in with that crew, although we came up a little short in the playoffs.
“I definitely thought my role in South Shore was a little more important, taking big faceoffs late in the game, being on the ice to protect one-goal leads,” he added. “I’m grateful for that, being in a bigger role.”
While he made his commitment public on July 27, there’s just short of two weeks from that date until he reports at St. Cloud State.
“It’s a pretty quick turnaround, I’m leaving next weekend,” said Rosborough. “I’ve just really been focusing on my conditioning the last couple weeks, and I get on the ice about four times a week. It’s really crunch time, and I’ll hammer away these last few weeks to get myself ready for St. Cloud.”
The USPHL congratulates Ryan Rosborough, his family, the South Shore Kings and Junior Bruins organizations, and St. Cloud State University for his commitment.