The Charlotte Rush are big fans of Arcadia University in Pennsylvania – and the admiration certainly goes the other way. Currently, there are five former Rush Premier players competing for the Knights’ NCAA Division III team.
They’ll be getting one more with the addition of Bryce Battaglia in 2023-24.
Committing in mid-January, Battaglia (‘02/Omaha, Neb.) has 27 points in 19 games this season, his second in the USPHL Premier after previously playing in 2020-21.
‘I think the USPHL [Premier] is the best Tier-3 league if you want to get committed to NCAA Division III.’ – Bryce Battaglia
“Around the start of the 2022-2023 season they started talking to me and they liked my offensive awareness and shot,” said Battaglia, a cousin of former Carolina Hurricanes NHL player Bates Battaglia. “I knew that Arcadia was a great school academically,so I was already very interested and I know there’s a lot of potential on the hockey side of things.”
Battaglia is a 21st-century thinker, as he wants to follow a computer science track once he reaches Arcadia this fall. Located in Glenside, Pa., just north of Philadelphia, Arcadia features an idyllic campus with lots of green space and the Grey Towers Castle as the main landmark, looking like something transplanted from the English countryside.
“The campus was beautiful. Once I visited and got my financials in order, I knew I was going to commit to Arcadia,” said Battaglia.
Leading the way currently for Arcadia in scoring is former Rush and National Champion Drew Iannucci, with former Rush Aaron Hamel at fourth. Both Hamel and their fifth-leading scorer Brendan Dicker are both former teammates of Battaglia’s with the former Charleston Colonials, who made a National Championship appearance in 2021. With so much Charlotte Rush influence on the Arcadia leaderboard, it’s no surprise that Battaglia is a big fan of the franchise.
“They are the best-run Tier-3 junior organization. They want to win but also make sure you are achieving your future goals like getting guys to NCAA or Tier II junior,” said Battaglia. “The Rush’s development model is great. We have multiple guys on our team that have played on their Elite team in past years and they have huge roles on our Premier team now.”
As for the competition the Rush regularly face in the Southeast Division, and across the 69-team USPHL Premier in showcase action, Battaglia was equally thrilled with his Path To College Hockey.
“I think the USPHL is the best Tier-3 league if you want to get committed to NCAA Division III,” added Battaglia.
There are about four more weeks to the Rush’s regular season and they’ve already punched their Southeast Division playoffs spot. All of these guaranteed games as well as potential further games (based on playoff success) and off-season work give him plenty of time to be ready to make an impact in Pennsylvania next season.
“The biggest thing I need to work on is my details both offensively and defensively,” said Battaglia.
The USPHL congratulates Bryce Battaglia, his family, the Charlotte Rush and Arcadia University for his commitment.