Colorado youth hockey alum Florit making major name for himself at NCAA Division III Arcadia
For Dylan Florit, his time spent in Colorado during his youth hockey career made a difference in helping him advance to junior hockey and, ultimately, college hockey.
Florit, a sophomore at NCAA Division III Arcadia University, located near Philadelphia, played two seasons for the Colorado Thunderbirds and one for Chaparral High School and the Rocky Mountain RoughRiders. He then went on to two seasons with the USPHL’s Atlanta MadHatters before joining Arcadia’s first-ever freshman class in 2021-22.
“Arcadia head coach Vincent Pietrangelo first contacted me after a USPHL showcase,” said Florit. “We started talking over the next few months and I ultimately picked Arcadia because the coach really showed me he wanted me and was excited about my game. Coach Pietrangelo said he needed a prime scoring threat and was giving me a chance to be a starting center as a freshman. The coach showed a lot of trust in me and has always been there for me.
“Arcadia was very aggressive in recruiting me. It was a good school and they were giving me a great opportunity to be an anchor player for a first-year program.”
At the end of last season, Florit was named the team’s Offensive Player of the Year after scoring nine goals and 17 points in 25 games, “quite the honor,” according to Florit, a Sports Management major.
“Team wise, it has been an amazing experience to come together with good hockey players from all over and launch a program,” Florit said. “We are in a strong division (UCHC) with teams that have been around a lot longer than us, but we ended up surprising some of them.
“On a personal level, it is great getting the chance to play NCAA college hockey. I felt I grew into my role throughout last year.”
Back in Colorado with the Thunderbirds, Florit was part of a district championship team and also made it to the final four with Chaparral, where he was named All-Conference First Team, All-State Second Team, and team MVP.
“As far as coaches are concerned, I think the coach that stood out the most was Coach (Ryan) Finnefrock for Chaparral High School,” said Florit. “It was a pleasure playing for ‘Coach Finn,’ who believed in me and my game. He was a positive force. Also, I have to say another coach that stood out was Larry Barron, an elite skating coach who has worked with NHL players and Olympic skaters. I credit my speed and agility to Coach Barron.”
Originally from Hermosa Beach, Calif., Florit started playing hockey when he was seven years old.
“I got a chance to play with the AAA Anaheim Jr. Ducks, coached by ex-NHL players Craig Johnson and Scott Niedermayer,” explained Florit. “It was a great experience learning from ex-NHL players. We were one of the top teams in the country and traveled all over the U.S. and Canada.”
Now looking ahead, Florit has reachable goals and aspirations in mind.
“My school goal is to get my college degree in Sports Management,” he said. “Hockey will always be part of my life in some capacity as I love the sport and always will.”
— Matt Mackinder
(January 26, 2023)