Lariviere commits to RPI
Dylan Lariviere doesn’t turn 18 until next month but already has the next several years of his life mapped out.
The Ridley College student recently committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., to play hockey for the fall of 2025 while also securing a spot with the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League for the upcoming season.
Lariviere had discussions with a few other schools but paid a visit to Rensselaer which sealed the deal.
“It was great,” the Welland native said. “It’s a smaller school, a smaller campus, so that’s more fitting to me and something I liked about it. It’s a really nice campus and the rink and everything else is very nice. I really liked all that.
“It just felt like home. The staff and the guys are great. Once I went down there it made the decision that much easier.”
Lariviere, the son of former St. Catharines Falcons coach and defenceman Trevor Lariviere, admitted committing so early has taken a load off his mind.
“Definitely, for sure,” he said. “I just knew after going there and all my conversations with the staff that was the place I wanted to play and continue my education. To have the opportunity to commit when I did, I felt it was the best opportunity and have it done.
“I’m excited for sure. Obviously, it will be fun when I get down there. I can’t wait.”
Lariviere had an outstanding season on the ice for the Tigers scoring 33 goals in 42 games, including a hat-trick in the Tigers national championship victory.
“It was a great year,” he said. “All the guys are great. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I did without them, obviously. The two guys I played with most of the year (Sam Lockyear, Vincent Gazquez) I wouldn’t have had anywhere near the success I had. It was a big help and the staff there put me in the best positions throughout the year to succeed and play my game and play the way I could to be successful and help the team as much as I could.”
Ridley coach Mike McCourt felt Lariviere’s success was no accident.
“Dylan is an exceptional worker,” McCourt said. “He is devoted to growing his game every day and focuses on getting better every time he hits the ice. You can always find him taking advantage of extra ice, working on his release or other areas of his game.
“Dylan is very grounded and is patient when many young players rush the process. He identified areas he wanted to focus on and grow and came back and did just that leading by example. That patience, work ethic and focus on developing his entire game has resulted in his commitment which he are so happy and proud for him.”
Lariviere isn’t sure what he will major in at RPI — he is considering business — but feels Ridley has prepared him well for the life of an NCAA student/athlete.
“Ridley’s a lot like college or university and with the hockey side of it, going to classes all day and then lifts and skates after school,” he said. “The day to day life is very like where I will be going and the play and the environment we are put in everyday to get better and succeed. It definitely helped me a lot and I probably wouldn’t have the opportunities I do without them.”
Lariviere was drafted by the Flint Firebirds in the ninth round of the 2021 Ontario Hockey League draft, but had already committed to Ridley.
“I felt Ridley was the best spot for me to play and develop and get touches on the puck and hone my game and become better,” he said. “Flint, it didn’t work out, and then going back to Ridley, it kept all my options open and continue to play and then land my spot with RPI.”
Lariviere, who is listed at 6-foot-4, 192 pounds, plans to hit the gym hard this summer.
“I want to put on some weight and continue to get stronger, faster, better and then be ready for August to head to Alberta,” he said.
He feels two years with the Bandits will also prepare him for RPI.
“I caught their eye and just to have that opportunity, I felt that was another great spot for me to continue to develop and give myself the best chance to keep moving my career forward,” he said.
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