Friday, March 12, 2010

Nycholat Notches Ivy League Scholarship:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Nycholat notches Ivy League scholarship

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: March 11, 2010

Dan Nycholat cared enough about his development as a hockey player to walk away from a free ride. The Calgary native had locked up an NCAA Division 1 scholarship with the Northeastern Huskies, but after joining the Boston-based squad as an 18-year-old, the blueliner soon realized he wasn’t going to get the opportunity he needed to meet his true potential.

Nycholat, a former top-10 NCAA prospect who turns 21 in June, toiled for two seasons with the Huskies, posting 1-6-7 and 41 penalty minutes in 48 games. He wanted out, and that’s when the Vernon Vipers came calling.

After learning the Calgary-raised defenceman was available, Vipers’ head coach/GM Mark Ferner didn’t hesitate to orchestrate a trade with the Canmore Eagles, who held his junior A rights, plucking the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder last September.

“When we had the opportunity to add him, it was a no-brainer,” said Ferner. “He just does everything well. He’s an older guy that can play in every situation and log a lot of key minutes.”

Added Nycholat: “I wasn’t developing as a hockey player and felt I needed a change. This (Vipers) was the best opportunity for me last fall. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Playing a vital role in the Vipers’ 105-point regular season (second highest is club history), Nycholat led all Viper defencemen in scoring with seven goals and 45 points in 58 games (top-10 in the BCHL). Ferner says it was only a matter of time before NCAA scouts started taking notice again.

“He could basically pick and choose,” he said.

Nycholat recently committed to play next year with the Dartmouth College Big Green, an Ivy League school based in Hanover, N.H.

The Big Green, who are ninth in the ECAC at 7-12-3, have produced some NHL prospects recently. Tanner Glass of the Vancouver Canucks and David Jones of the Colorado Avalanche are both Dartmouth and BCHL alumni.

“It has been an ongoing process for the last couple months. I looked at all the options and went with the best fit academically and athletically,” said Nycholat, who completed two years of a business degree while at Northeastern.

He is currently taking online business and general studies courses to maintain his academic standing. With another year of junior A seasoning, Nycholat believes the transition back to the NCAA will be smoother.

“I feel really comfortable going back,” said Nycholat, whose older brother Lawrence plays with the AHL Manitoba Moose. “I know what the games and the atmosphere are like, so it should be an easy adjustment.”

With the scholarship out of the way, Nycholat can now divert his full attention towards helping the Vipers defend their national junior A title. His last ride in the junior A post-season was a pretty short one – a first-round exit in the 2006-07 season while he was with Canmore.

“I haven’t had a whole lot of playoff experience the last couple years, so it’s going to be a great ride the whole way.”

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