Photo by Rena Laverty
Throughout history, the east coast has been known to produce some of the best hockey players we have ever seen, but in today’s world, the west coast has become a powerhouse as well for future skaters.
Among those is Dylan Silverstein, a native of Calabasas, California, whose hometown pride has inspired him throughout his career.
“I think it’s pretty great,” said Silverstein. “There’s a lot of NHL teams out there which brings a lot of excitement. I honestly believe the game has grown a ton there.”
Although much of his development is credited to his west coast roots, Silverstein made the move to play for the Islanders Hockey Club in Massachusetts for the 2018-19 season. Despite the change of location, his style of play remained the same.
“The two hockey cultures were pretty similar, but for me I thought it was better for my hockey career to get out east a little bit earlier. Hockey is just a bit bigger out there and I knew I could really benefit from that.”
Before making his debut in Plymouth for the NTDP last season, Silverstein represented Team USA at the 2020 Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Most skaters work their whole lives for the opportunity to represent their country on an international stage and, like many others, he had no hesitation in fully embracing the moment.
“It was really an awesome experience. We had great fans, it was a lot of fun getting to play against all the other countries, but overall representing the U.S. is just an amazing feeling.”
On top of wearing the USA crest, there is no greater feeling than bringing home a medal for your country and for your hard work. With a silver medal already under his belt, Silverstein is hungry for the chance to win more.
“It was really cool getting a medal,” stated Silverstein. “Obviously, our goal is to always shoot for gold, but we came home with great memories and some hardware.”
With one year behind him and one more to go at the NTDP, there is so much Silverstein is not only is looking forward to, but hoping to learn from, as he looks to lead his team to success during the 2021-22 season.
Aside from winning games, there is a strong emphasis on his personal development both on and off the ice.
“I just love competing, I love pushing myself every day to get better and really just trying to make my dreams come true.”
In addition to all the smaller milestones along the way, Silverstein and the rest of the U18 team’s overall goal remains clear and that is being in the best position possible to bring home gold at the 2022 IIHF Under-18 World Championship in Germany.
“Our goal is to win gold at the U18 World Championship at the end of the year, but we’re focused on winning as many games as we can this season. I obviously have my individual goals as well, but I think the emphasis is on our team goals.”
Photo by Rena Laverty