Meet the Freshmen Series: Dylan Richard
With a surname pronounced like that of Maurice “Rocket” Richard (one of the most prolific goals scorers in NHL history), Penn State’s ‘Richard’ bears a very similar background to current Nittany Lions teammate and first-year assistant captain, David Glen.
Coincidentally, he and Glen were former teammates and linemates with the Alberta Junior Hockey League powerhouse, Spruce Grove Saints, for two seasons from 2010 to 2012. So it would not come as a surprise if head coach Guy Gadowsky split up the trio of Glen, Curtis Loik and Kenny Brooks, one that instantly clicked last season, in order to reunite the former Spruce Grove tag team.
“He’s just a leader and I definitely try to model my game after his,” said Richard about his relationship with Glen, and how he’s become a mentor for him.
Along with Richard and Glen, fellow freshman Mike Williamson also appeared in one game for the Saints during the 2010-2011 season and then the following two seasons.
In Richard’s first taste of junior hockey with the Saints at age 17, he only appeared in two games with just one assist to his name. During his official rookie campaign the following season, he finished the regular season with nine goals and 17 assists over 43 games.
After finishing atop the AJHL’s North Division with a 50-6-4 record, Richard and the Saints were in very good position heading into the AJHL Enerflex Cup Playoffs.
Beginning with a first round bye, the Saints rolled into the Cup Finals riding an eight-game winning streak and sweeping their first two series. They went on to win the AJHL title in a 4-1 series victory against the Camrose Kodiaks while Richard played in all 13 games and finished with five points.
In his second season with the Saints, Richard stepped up offensively and finished fourth on the team in points with 41. It was a foreshadow of what was soon to come in his third full junior season.
With Glen gone and beginning his first season with the Nittany Lions, Richard emerged and became the biggest offensive threat for the Saints. He led the team in scoring with 22 goals and 42 points and helped the team to their fifth straight AJHL North Division regular season title with a 35-16-9 record.
Additionally, he was selected to the AJHL North Division All-League team and was a finalist for the AJHL’s Alberta Old Time Hockey Players Trophy for league MVP.
Last fall, he was given the honor of playing for Team Canada West at the 2012 World Junior-A Challenge, a distinction that fellow Penn State teammates Luke Juha and Curtis Loik also share with Richard.
Coincidentally, Richard’s Team Canada West squad lost in a shootout in the gold medal game to Team USA; which included current Penn State teammate in goaltender Eamon McAdam. Richard scored a goal against McAdam in the Gold Medal game.
In terms of his style of play, expect to see a lot of similarities between him and Glen during his standout 2012-2013 season. This includes being good in all aspects of the game from back checking in the defense end, to neutral zone play and also a knack for putting pucks in the net
“I’d say I’m a playmaker, play both offense and defense as a two-way player,” said Richard. “I can get gritty and I can play a finesse game.”
Ross Insana is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Ross is a senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania majoring in Broadcast Journalism, minoring in business and a member of Penn State’s John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. He anchors and reports both sports and news for the Centre County Report. He’s also a sports talk show host of “The Ross Insana Show” every Sunday from 5-6 PM on ComRadio in addition to headlining ComRadio’s Penn State Hockey coverage as the Men’s Hockey columnist and host of the ComRadio Men’s Hockey Pregame Show for the 2013-2014 season. His internship experiences recently include being a Production Assistant Intern for ESPN Radio 1450 in State College for “Sports Talk” with the voice of Penn State Football Steve Jones. Ross was formerly the Pittsburgh Pirates Pregame and Postgame Show intern for Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh for hosts Dan Zangrilli and former Major Leaguer Kevin Orie during the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates season. His future aspirations are to cover baseball in any facet at any level whether it’s play-by play, color commentary, writing, media relations or sideline reporting. With a background in baseball coaching and instruction, he’d like to become a head coach for a High School baseball team in the future.