Paradise Valley native Roswell enjoying NCAA D-I career at Bentley
The name certainly gives pause when you see it.
Really, who would want to leave a place called Paradise Valley? That is the suburb of Phoenix from which Ethan Roswell hails, and while he loves his hometown, he also has a soft spot for New England winters.
“I actually love the winter, and I love Boston – I want to live there after college, wherever my life takes me,” said Roswell, who is a rising sophomore defenseman at NCAA Division I Bentley University. “I also love it in Paradise Valley. The name speaks for itself. I loved growing up here surrounded by family and friends and a great hockey community.
“I was a big fish in a small hockey community, but I was able to challenge myself and go out to Boston to be a little fish in a big pond.”
Prior to his 2018-19 freshman season at Bentley, Roswell played two seasons for the Boston Jr. Bruins’ top team in the USPHL. His first season was in the USPHL Premier and his second came in the inaugural season of the tuition-free National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC).
“The Jr. Bruins were huge for my development, and I owe a lot of credit to Mike Anderson and Peter Masters,” said Roswell. “They turned me into an NCAA Division I defenseman. It’s one thing to grow up in Arizona and see guys go D-I, but to play against D-I guys every day is completely different.”
The competition offered up by the USPHL also played a big part in Roswell’s progression.
“Coming out of Cushing Academy, it was definitely a big step for me,” Roswell said. “The top 4-5 teams in the USPHL Premier all had D-I kids, and you know that if there’s a scout there watching one of their incoming prospects, you had a chance to show what you have as well. The NCDC, in my second year, saw the Jr. Bruins have 16 NCAA Division I players. Every one of the top teams in the league had anywhere from 5-15 D-I players. You could never slack off because there are eyes on you all the time. It taught me to be competitive and consistent.
“Basically, with the Jr. Bruins, I was able to get my Division I career started early.”
That helped Roswell get into 24 Bentley games, including top-pair minutes. He registered four assists as a freshman.
“My game has changed,” said Roswell. “I was more of a power-play/go-to guy with the Jr. Bruins, but when you get to be an incoming freshman – and I was the youngest defenseman at Bentley this year – you have to find a role. The transition was slow early on, but by Christmastime, I proved myself as a Division I defenseman. I got critical penalty-kill time and was out there in big minutes. Yeah, the transition was tough, but it ended really well.”
The Falcons – and the Jr. Bruins before them – got a truly Arizona-born and -bred product, learning the game from his father at a young age. His first exposure to the game was a University of Denver-University of Minnesota exhibition game in his home state. From there, he played with the Jr. Coyotes and Arizona Bobcats.
This summer, he was back in his hometown.
“I’m helping my father, who is a bookbinder, in his business, both with some of the heavy lifting stuff and social media,” said Roswell. “I’m also coaching alongside Mike Hensdell in his Hensdell Hockey Camps.”
Someday, Roswell is looking to move into the big business world, majoring in either Corporate Finance and Accounting or Economics/Finance.
“Bentley is primarily a business school – there are not many non-business majors there,” said Roswell.
No matter where he ends up, though, there will always be a lot pulling him back home, especially when home is Paradise Valley.
— Joshua Boyd/USPHL.com
(Sept. 4, 2019)