photo by www.ontariohockey.com
The Carolina Hurricanes still feel as if they stole cookies from the cookie jar at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Not only did they select the player they coveted with their number 14 overall pick in Zach Boychuk, they were also somehow able to draft another highly rated player on their chart in Zac Dalpe. As a matter of fact, they were even considering taking Dalpe with their choice in the first round if Boychuk had been selected earlier.
So far the young forward has not disappointed.
If you were one of the crowd watching the on ice drills at the Rec Zone during the past two days, you more than likely noticed Dalpe's sharp shooting abilities and quick release. Someone forgot to give him the memo that Mike Murphy was the two time reigning OHL goaltender of the year, because the Buckeye has made some pretty slick shots against the heralded goalie.
Zac is attending his second consecutive conditioning camp for the Hurricanes, but you won't hear him complain. When I asked him why he came back for more punishment two year's in a row, he responded that it was by the team's request.
"Last year was tough, but they asked me to come back and you can't turn down that opportunity. I mean, it's a pretty grueling five days, but you feel pretty good after. Hopefully, I will feel the same way after this one."
The center will return to Ohio State this coming season after scoring 13 goals and 12 assists as a freshman.
I want to play in the NHL as fast as possible. Whatever I have to do to get there, I'm going to do it. But going back to Ohio State, I'm not going to be disappointed in any way. We're going to be young again, but we have a lot of returning guys so it should be an exciting year.
Dalpe was his team's leading scorer until he was injured in January. He ended up making the CCHA all rookie team. What can he do for an encore this season?
I want to take on a little bit of a leadership role. There are several of us about the same age, so I think that would be important. I would like to be a little more consistent and also stay off the injury list too. It should be fun and I'm looking forward to it.
There is little doubt that Buckeye fans are looking forward to his return as well.