Allen selected for Team Ontario
Dryden Allen is eager to see how he stacks up against the best U16 players from across Canada.
The 15-year-old, Saint Michael Catholic High School student is the lone local player and one of five from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association selected to play for Team Ontario at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island.
“It’s an actual honour to be representing my team and province, for sure,” Allen said. “It’s really good hockey against the top players in the country. I think it will be something to match my game against them and it will be really cool to see where I stand.
“It will be something good to be recognized as one of the top players in the province.”
Allen, a defenceman for the Southern Tier Admirals, went to an evaluation camp last May to learn more about the process of getting selected.
“It seemed really far away back then,” he said. “It was kind of a dream and I thought it would be awesome. As the season started, it seemed to become more real, something that was more achievable.”
Allen got the good news he had made the final roster before Christmas.
“I got a call and offered a spot on the team. It was something I’ll never forget,” he said.
Allen has two goals and 24 points in 34 games for the Admirals this season.
“I’m a 200-foot D-man. I think I can help my team in both ends of the ice,” he said. “I do the little things well in the D-zone. Make that first hard, crisp pass and then help my team create in the O-zone.”
Southern Tier coach Kevin Rosebrugh has high praise for Allen.
“I’ve had the pleasure of coaching and helping Dryden develop the past couple years,” Rosebrugh said. “He is a great kid who is one of our leaders and absolutely loves the game. He comes to the rink every day to work hard to keep getting better at his craft.
“He has really been developing nicely and his future is a bright one. His best attribute as a player is definitely his feet. He has tremendous edge work and is an effortless skater who competes hard every day.”
Allen, who grew up in Ottawa and moved to Niagara Falls about seven years ago, is the son of Seattle Kracken scout Andrew Allen. His father also worked for the Buffalo Sabres and Dryden Allen has fond memorials of accompanying his father to Sabres games and practices.
“I had a lot of mentors with my dad working in the hockey business my whole life so I’ve always been around that,” he said. “It was awesome to be around that to see what it’s like. It gives you that motivation to be in that culture with all those high-level players and see how much it takes and the dedication it takes. It’s something I could take and try and do it myself.”
Dryden Allen is in his OHL draft year and would love nothing better than to follow in his father’s footsteps and make it to the NHL one day.
“It’s a dream,” he said. “I’ve always been a very talented hockey player and it’s something I’ve worked for ever since I was a little kid.”
Dryden Allen is also looking forward to finishing the season on a high note with the Admirals.
“I’ve played with the Southern Tier Admirals for seven years. A really good group, a tight-knit group. We’re coached with a lot of structure and we’ve had a lot of success this year. The main goal is to do well at the OMHA championships and OHL Cup this spring.”
The Canada Winter Games, which will be held Feb. 19 to March 5, showcases the top U16 hockey talent in the country. Players will gather for a pre-tournament camp next week in Kitchener before their first game on Feb. 19. Ontario will be a part of Pool B with Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
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