After signing five 2013 recruits to letters of intent during the fall period, Penn State’s men’s hockey team received a verbal commitment from 2013 Sherwood Park (AB) forward Dylan Richard.
Richard grabbed a silver medal with Team Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge.
The 19-year-old center started speaking with the Penn State coaches after former Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) teammate David Glen committed to the Nittany Lions, and developed a nice rapport with the staff.
“It was Keith Fisher initially. He really started it out where we got to know each other a little bit,” recalled Richard, who chose the Nittany Lions over Minnesota-Duluth, Ohio State and North Dakota. “I went down to Penn State in mid-December on a visit before committing and I thought it was great. Great people, a great campus, good atmosphere, just an overall good feeling.
“They’re a great group of people, all of the coaches. They’re easy to talk to, fun to be around. Being around them made my decision a lot easier.”
An all-around player who covers a majority of the ice, Richard (pronounced RI-shard) lent some insight into how he plays the game.
“I consider myself a two-way center who plays both offense and defense,” he said. “I can contribute offensively, but can make plays at the end of a game to defend the lead, or just score a goal.
“I’d say the way I think the game is my biggest strength, whether it is anticipating a play or knowing where to be at the right time, and also being able to use my linemates effectively.”
Earlier in the season Richard was selected to the Canada East team during the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
“It was awesome, a really great experience, we were treated like professionals over there, top class and was able to play with some great players,” said Richard, who scored a goal and added three assists during the four games. “It was top competition and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.”
Canada West ended up taking the silver medal, losing to the United States team led by Penn State commit Eamon McAdam.
“Guy (Gadowsky) and Keith were sure to remind me about that,” Richard said, chuckling. “He was solid the whole tournament for the US, definitely the backbone for their team. I’m excited to get to know him next year and play in front of him.”
Although he’s been sidelined by a shoulder injury over the past few weeks, Richard still leads the Saints in scoring, tallying 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points in 33 games.
Going forward, Richard is looking to come back off the injury stronger and help lead his team to a division title. As for next season, the soon-to-be Nittany Lion is in a good place, and can’t wait to get going.
“It was a long process, talking to a whole bunch of schools, I’m definitely excited to come out next year,” he said. “It is a great opportunity to play Division I, but also for the school as well and the program.
“It will be the first year in the Big Ten. I’m going to be a freshman but I think we’re just going to go in and work as hard as we can.”