By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the OCN Blizzard
Bryden Sinclair has his next number of years of hockey fully planned out: he is a Black Bear.
On Thursday, the Peguis product announced his commitment to play Division I in Hockey East with the Maine University Black Bears, beginning in the 2020-21 season. This will make Sinclair the first player from the North American Hockey League's Maryland Black Bears to go directly to a Division I university program. In doing so, Sinclair won't even have to worry about switching team monikers.
Sinclair, 18, spent the past season suiting up for the OCN Blizzard, where he recorded five goals, 26 points and 86 penalty minutes in 60 games as a first year defenceman. Originally drafted 50th overall in the fifth round of the 2016 MJHL Draft, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound blueliner has already committed to play the upcoming season with Maryland in the NAHL.
Maine went 15-17-4 in 2018-19, losing in two straight games to Northeastern University in the Hockey East Quarterfinals in mid-March. Maryland - Sinclair's team for the upcoming season - went 16-37-7 last year, finishing the season last in the East Division. Sinclair and the Black Bears will look to improve upon last season's dismal record, as they begin their 2019-20 NAHL season on September 13 and 14, playing host to the visiting New Jersey Titans.