COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey May graduate Danny Divis (Media, Pa./Minnesota Wilderness) signed his first professional contract last week, agreeing on a one-year deal to join the Pionniers de Chamonix-Morzine, who are based in Chamonix, in the French Alps.
"I'm really excited to continue playing the game I love while being able to travel in the process," said Divis. "I think it will be an exciting journey, and I'm really looking forward to what the experience will bring for me."
A high-scoring defenseman during his career, Divis was also highly decorated. With four goals and 15 assists as a senior, he was among the top 20 in scoring by NCAA Division II/III blue liners and claimed all-conference accolades from both the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) and the Northeast-10 Conference, capping his career with five all-league laurels. Divis had 49 assists and 66 points in 100 career contests and was a semifinalist for the 2017 Joe Concannon Award, which recognizes the top American-born NCAA Division II/III men's ice hockey player in New England.
Thanks to his excellence both on the ice and in the classroom, Divis was a 2017 Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-America selection while earning the NE10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award for men's ice hockey as both a junior and a senior. He also claimed NE10 Academic All-Conference honors each of his final three years. In April, Divis shared the Hockey Humanitarian Award, which honors college hockey's finest citizens, with classmate Justin McKenzie after the duo founded mental health awareness movement Hope Happens Here. Divis and McKenzie will be recognized once more when they throw out the ceremonial first pitches at Fenway Park on Aug. 5 before the Boston Red Sox host the Chicago White Sox as part of Vermont Day.
Divis' Pionniers have played in the 12-team Ligue Magnus, the top rung of ice hockey in France. The 2016-17 season was the Pionniers' first after the merger of the Pingouins de Morzine-Avoriaz and Chamois de Chamonix, which won a league-best 30 Ligue Magnus championships, all between 1923 and 1979. Each team plays 44 regular-season games between September and February before the top eight qualify for the postseason. The remaining four squads also hold a tournament, with the last-place squad being relegated to a lower division. Ligue Magnus has existed since 1906. Find more information at chamonix-morzine.com and liguemagnus.com.
Chamonix, the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, has a population of 8,900 and is situated directly on the borders of Italy and Switzerland in southeastern France. Chamonix is a six-hour drive from the French capital of Paris while actually situated closer to Switzerland's capital city of Bern, just a two-hour journey.
Divis holds membership in the Chi Alpha Sigma, Delta Epsilon Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies while graduating with a 3.85 grade-point average. Toward the end of May, he also earned campus honors with the College's John Reiss Award for English; the Department of Athletics' Diane Claire Foster Award, for sacrifice and service to others; and the Roger F. Keleher '15 Award as the top male scholar-athlete in the senior class.