For local product Daniel Dahlin, being named the captain of the Golden Rockets is, understandably, a tremendous honour.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet…it’s kind of like the thing you dream about watching (the Rockets),” he said.
An alternate captain last year, Dahlin was the obvious choice to take over from Michael Anderson for his solid play and leadership skills.
“The biggest thing I’ll say about Daniel is that he’s such a reliable person. When I tell him something needs to get done, it gets done. He’s a very reliable, responsible kid and he isn’t afraid to step up in the dressing room and say things,” said Rockets coach Ty Davidson.
The big stay-at-home defence man made his Rockets debut in 2011 and was a mainstay on the Rockets’ blue line last season, posting 4 goals and 12 assists for 16 points to go along with 41 penalty minutes. At 6’4”, Dahlin will be expected to provide a solid, physical brand of hockey for a team that has lost a good portion of its defencemen from a year ago.
Dahlin played under two different captains last season. Brett deFrias wore the ‘C’ up until his trade to Kamloops, which is when Anderson took over. Dahlin spent much of the season paired with Anderson on the blue line and likens his leadership style to his former partner.
“I think I’ll be similar to Anderson. He was a lot more serious and strict with the guys,” Dahlin said.
During exhibition action, Dahlin has been paired up with soon-to-be 16-year old Alex Astasiewicz. The Everett Silvertips draft pick promises to be one of the most exciting additions to the Rockets this season, and he’ll have the benefit of learning beside the club’s captain.
“He’s a really good player and really easy to play with. He’s smart on the ice so it makes it easy (for me),” he said.
Following Tuesday’s exhibition opener, Dahlin admitted there was some rust to shake off, not surprising considering how little skating he is able to do over the offseason. The rust will be gone soon enough, and Dahlin didn’t mince words when discussing his goals for this season, his final one in the KIJHL.
“Hopefully we’ll have a nice deep playoff run and a championship would be nice,” he said. “We’ll see what we got but I think we can do it, we have a good group.”