Two more Vees landed NCAA Division l scholarships Thursday, as both Ben Dalpe and Chris Rygus committed to Clarkson University for the 2014-2015 season. The Vees now have an impressive 14 players committed to NCAA Division l programs on their roster.
Dalpe (19) and Rygus (20) were both brought into the program via trade this past off-season for their veteran leadership and experience. Dalpe played the last two seasons with the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Canadian Junior Hockey League. Dalpe was over a point per-game player with the P-Kings, picking up 60 points in 48 games last year. The Paris, Ontario native is a crafty two-way centerman who isn’t shy about going into the “dirty areas” to win pucks. Though not tall in stature, Dalpe is a competitor and showed his touch around the net by picking up four assists over the weekend and earning BCHL Player of the Week honours. Ben says he and his brother Zac, forward for the Carolina Hurricanes,have their similarities on the ice, but notes his game revolves more around working in the corners and off the cycle. That was evident on the weekend, as he seemed to excel down low in the offensive zone below the circles.
Rygus embodies what it means to be a leader at this level, as he is a polarizing figure on and off the ice. Now when I mean polarizing off the ice, it’s the fact players seem to gravitate towards him. Rookies and even veterans look up to the experienced blue-liner who’s in his fourth and final year of junior hockey. Rygus looks like a scary dude on the ice but he isn’t all fire and brimstone off the ice. The Mississauga, Ontario product is fairly laid back around the team but doesn’t hesitate to speak to someone when they’ve erred. That’s why he wears an ‘A’, he has a good sense on how to handle every situation. On the ice he’s most effective when he imposes his will on the opposition by using his size and strength. Speaking of which, Rygus moves well for his stature and has made great strides with his footwork this past off-season. Playing at the college level, where the tempo is hire and the ice is sometimes bigger, his skating won’t be an issue.
Congrats to Ben and Chris on their commitments; two good guys in junior hockey.