Thunderbirds, RoughRiders alum Florit taking speedy game to inaugural class at NCAA D-III Arcadia
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Dylan Florit knows America well.
A California native (Hermosa Beach), he currently resides in Colorado. He has played his last two junior hockey seasons with the Atlanta Mad Hatters in the USPHL Premier Division. He now moves on to play as part of the inaugural NCAA team for Arcadia University, located just outside of Philadelphia.
The Pacific Coast, the Rocky Mountains, the Deep South, and the Northeast Corridor – he has it all covered.
“One of my good buddies was playing in Atlanta and got me in touch with our coach,” said Florit. “I learned a lot not only from my coach, but all the players. Everyone there was super friendly. We all pushed each other and the coaches Paul Flache and Zach Sabatini always pushed me to become a better player, with and without the puck.”
With the puck, Florit became the all-time leading scorer after the Mad Hatters’ first two USPHL seasons, scoring 79 regular season points in 86 games. Offensive output like that is always going to turn heads, and he is grateful that Arcadia picked up on his game and wants him to be a part of their inaugural season this fall.
“Arcadia talked to me after one of the main showcases for 2020-21, and so we had been talking for a couple months,” said Florit. “I was deciding between a few schools [but I picked Arcadia] after they talked to me about how they’re one of the best business schools around, and also about how they need a prime scoring threat on their upcoming roster. Speed is something you can’t teach and that’s what they saw in me.”
Florit is excited to set the tone for the Arcadia NCAA program this year, as he just did so for the Mad Hatters, helping them take off in their inaugural season of 2019-20.
“I’ve experienced it before. I am definitely going to Arcadia to win a championship,” he said.
Florit is also excited to physically see Arcadia when he makes it to campus in late summer. He was unable to get an in-person tour, but did virtual tours and talked to several Arcadia students about the university and its campus.
As aforementioned, he’s also excited about stepping into the classroom to begin his work towards a degree likely in business administration.
“I’m also looking at maybe a physical therapy or kinesiology minor, to keep around sports still,” he added.
Like Arcadia, the Mad Hatters were wise to bring in Florit as one of their original building blocks in 2019. Right away, he produced, putting up a team-leading 36 points in the inaugural season. Next up, he picked up 43 points in 43 games for 2020-21, finishing one point behind team leader and Franklin Pierce recruit Ryan Bailey.
“I think one of the main things that I have taken away from the past two years is the importance of not only improving on the ice but off the ice, in the gym and everything, while also keeping up with my schoolwork,” said Florit.
He also didn’t mind schooling his opponents, always trying to make the move or the play that they were not expecting.
“A strength of mine I would say is finding open ice and making the right play. If someone thinks I’ll pass, then I would shoot. I always wanted to do the unknown and keep people on their toes,” said Florit.
He generated the most scoring chances for Atlanta this year (55), nearly twice as many as the next closest teammate. As the lead center, he was also aces in the faceoff circle, winning 466 – or 58 percent – of his 808 total draws. His 169 takeaways also led all Mad Hatters forwards.
Arcadia is certainly picking up a complete player, one who is looking forward to reuniting with his former Colorado Thunderbirds teammate Pallen Brooks in Pennsylvania. Brooks was a member of the 2020-21 USPHL Premier champion Charlotte Rush this season.
Florit also played for the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders and Chaparral High School before junior hockey.
— Joshua Boyd/USPHL.com
(July 13, 2021)