The Golden Rockets may feature players from all over Alberta, British Columbia, and even one from California, but they also showcase some serious home-grown talent.
Golden’s own Daniel Dahlin is enjoying his first year on the team he grew up watching.
“It’s a lot of fun, I’m really enjoying it,” said the six-foot-four winger.
Growing in a small community, Dahlin had a slightly different experience in minor hockey than many of his teammates. There was no midget team in Golden to play on, so Dahlin had to hit the road to play the sport he loved.
“This is the first year we’ve (Golden) had a midget team in a few years, so we were out playing in Invermere. So there was a lot of travelling for practices and games were all over Alberta and B.C.”
Playing for the hometown team, with all its practices and half its games at home, is a nice change of pace for the 17-year-old, currently in his last year of high school at Golden Secondary School.
Having played 11 games so far this season, Dahlin is happy with the role he is filling on his team.
“This year I’m more of a grinder, I have to get into some dirty spots and get some energy for the team. It’s the fourth line role,” said Dahlin, adding that he has always looked up to some of the NHL’s grittier players like Pavel Datsyuk and Ryan Kesler.
“I like it, I don’t mind playing that role at all. You just take what you’re given and run with it.”
Dahlin says he isn’t quite sure where he’ll end up next year, but as always, hockey will almost certainly be a part of the picture.
“We’ll see how it goes with school, but I’m planning to go to university. I’m going to try out for the Dinos in Calgary (the University of Calgary hockey team). Me and my brother are going to try out for them. He’s in university right now,” said Dahlin, who has spent most of his life playing with or against his older brother.
Even with his sights set on the future, Dahlin is focused on his team, and their goals for the season.
“I really want us to make it past the first round, break the curse that Golden has had,” he said.
“Since 1991 they haven’t made it past the first round. They were the top team in the league by far the one year, but got taken out the first round. We’ll try to make it past that this year.”