Dylan Haugen grew up playing minor hockey in Port Alberni and cheering for the B.C. Hockey League’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs. He looked up to players like Tyler Ruel and Devin Timberlake, homegrown talent who enjoyed modest success in the BCHL before moving on to post-secondary hockey careers.
Next season, Haugen will take his own place in Bulldogs’ history when he dons the coveted red jersey. The Bulldogs announced this week that they have signed Haugen for the 2012-13 season.
“It means a lot to me,” Haugen, 18, said on Tuesday. “I’ve always wanted to play with the Bulldogs when I was growing up. Ever since they came here.”
Haugen has suited up with the Bulldogs in the past, spending 14 games on the ice as an affiliated player last season while also a member of the Oceanside Generals in Parksville. But it wasn’t the same.
As a 16-year-old in his 2010-11 rookie campaign with the Generals, Haugen appeared
in 44 regular season games and eight playoff games. He showed continued improvement through the 2011-12 season, appearing in 37 regular season games for the Gens. He contributed with 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points, putting him fourth in team scoring.
“The Bulldogs are very pleased to have hometown prospect Dylan Haugen commit to us for
next season,” Bulldogs head coach Kevin Willison said.
“Dylan brings a lot of energy on the ice and will play a big role for the ‘Dogs in coming years,” added Willison. “He will add a lot of speed to our lineup and to our penalty killing unit. Dylan’s game fits for the type of player we were looking for.”
Haugen said he is known for that speed, but admits he needs to work on his stickhandling in tight areas.
Haugen is a product of the Alberni Valley Minor Hockey Association and has continued with
his on-ice development over the last few years with the Alberni District Hockey Canada Skills
Haugen didn’t hesitate when asked what the best thing about signing with his hometown BCHL team is: “The fans. They’re great fans,” he said.
“They love the Bulldogs.”
DOG POUND…Bulldog Ryan Lough has committed to St. Lawrence University in the NCAA Div. 1 hockey program for the 2014-15 season. Lough will compete against several BCHL alumni in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, including teammate Evan Tironese, who recently committed to RPI Engineers…The Bulldogs invited several bantam and midget rep players to practice with them last season as part of their commitment to developing local players, assistant coach Adam Hayduk said.