Ben Dalpe is a 17 year-old forward currently playing with the Pembroke Lumber Kings in the Central Canada Tier One Hockey League (CCHL). Ben was born in Paris, Ontario and grew up with two brothers, Phil, and Zac (who plays for the Carolina Hurricanes).
The Ontario native is listed at 5’9” and 165 pounds. Ben played for the Brantford 99er’s AAA Minor Midget last season, but his season ended abruptly when he was diagnosed with a concussion. That meant that last summer was huge for Ben. Once he got cleared by the doctor to workout and start training, he did so right away. When I asked Ben to summarize his offseason, he said, “I had an amazing off-season working on my strength and one ice skills.” He trained extremely hard with his brothers Zac and Phil. Ben gained weight and muscle and is continuing to grow and develop as a player.
Ben is currently in 12th grade at Pembroke High School. In 28 games played this year, Ben has totaled 7 goals and 6 assists for 13 points. Ben has already exhibited his maturity as he had to overcome an early season shoulder injury. He continued working out even when he was not allowed to skate, by conditioning off the ice. He returned quickly and got back to producing points. Last Saturday, I interviewed Ben and learned a lot about him. Here is the interview.
Q: If there is one player you would say you model your game after, who would it be?
A: If there is one player I like to play like, it would be Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings. I like his work ethic and his skill set, it’s a style I like to model after.
Q: What is life like living away from home with a billet [host] family? Biggest upside/downside?
A: Life away from home is tough at the start but you definitely adjust and you get used to it. The biggest downside would be probably just missing my family and friends back home. The biggest upside is that you mature not only as a hockey player, but also as a person.
Q: How do you see yourself moving on in your hockey career (College or OHL) ?
Ben (left) at one of Zac's practices with the Charlotte Checkers last season.
A: I see myself moving on to college hockey but you never know what could happen. My brother Zac went through the college route and it worked out for him, so we will see.
Q: How has it been growing up with a brother who is now at the NHL level?
A: Growing up with Zac as my brother and being right by his side on his journey to pro hockey has been a great experience. I get the opportunity to see what the everyday life is like and what it takes to get there.
Q: What would you consider your strongest part of the game? Weakest?
A: The strongest part of my game would probably be my shot. It’s something I work very hard on, to have a fast release and pick spots to have the best chance to score. My weakness would be my strength. Sometimes I can be knocked around. The best thing about this weakness is that it’s something that can be fixed by working to get stronger.
Q: Is there any NHL team in particular you would ideally want to play with one day?
A: There is no team of choice, I just want to play in the NHL one day.
Q: What type of stick/skates are you using?
A: I use a Reebok stick, and CCM skates.
Q: What is your pre-game routine?
A: My pre game routine is pretty simple. I make sure to follow it every game and never tell anyone my superstitions.
Q: Is it hard to get through all of your school work because of hockey?
A: School work can be overwhelming at times, but once you get in a routine, you find time to do everything without it being a struggle.
Q: What has been your hardest choice in life regarding you hockey career?
A: To be honest there really hasn’t been a hard choice regarding hockey.
Q: After hockey, what would you like to do? If you weren’t playing hockey, what would you want your career to be?
A: Life after hockey is uncertain for me. Something I’m interested in is being a police officer.
Ben hopes to be drafted after this season.
We would like to thank Ben for taking the time for this interview.
Follow Ben on twitter: @Bdalps, he’s a beauty!