Dylan Seitz is all heart and soul.
The gritty skilled two-way winger from Eden, New York grew up with an unparalleled passion and love for the game, which continues to fuel his journey in the Canadian Hockey League.
Dylan Seitz realized at a young age that hard work; dedication and sacrifices were all part of process if he was going to live out his hockey dreams.
“My decision to play major junior over going the college route was really easy for me,” confessed Seitz.
Seitz grew up idolizing a family friend that made the tough, but rewarding decision to move north of the border to play in the CHL.
“I always idolized CHL players,” added Seitz.
“Frank Hora was a close family friend growing up, and he played four seasons with Kitchener.”
The Rangers took a shot at landing another New Yorker by selecting Seitz in the 15thround of the 2015 OHL Entry Draft.
The decision to move north of the border was a no brainer for Seitz, especially if it meant he had an opportunity to play with one of his idols.
“I got to play with Frank his last year with the Rangers, he was also my captain that season,” Seitz said proudly.
Seitz’s tenure with the Rangers would be short lived, but he didn’t have to wait long before getting snatched up by the then rebuilding Moncton Wildcats.
“I’m thankful to have played for two of the best organizations in the CHL,” said Seitz proudly.
Family has been at the center of Dylan Seitz’s impressive journey in the game. “My first recollection of playing was skating with my older brother Gary’s team.”
“I would always go out with his team and try to compete with the older kids. I realize it’s a cliché, but I really wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my family.”
“They have all supported me the entire way, moving fifteen hours away from home from my family, friends and girlfriend wasn’t easy, but they have all stuck by my side since day one.”
“The two most important people in my career are my parents.”
“Having three brother’s back home wasn’t an easy task to keep us in tact and take us to practice while my dad was at work.”
“Dad would work overtime after overtime just to make sure we had all the equipment or the extra money we needed to be able to play the game we love.”
East Coast Lifestyle
From New York to Kitchener, due east to Moncton, Dylan Seitz’s journey in the game has spanned thousands of kilometers, but he wouldn’t change it for the world.
One could say the east coast and Dylan Seitz is truly a match made in heaven.
What has the overager learned about himself and the game throughout his travels?
“The list is way too long for all the different things I’ve learned about myself,” admitted the high-energy power forward.
“Living away from home has made me more mature and grown up. Don’t get me wrong I still love to have fun, but I have learned right from wrong and how to treat people with the right amount of respect.”
Perhaps the most significant aspect that Seitz has learned throughout the journey is the importance of living in the moment.
“I’ve learned to never take anything for granted cause you never know when it will be over,” confessed Seitz.
“That’s not just with hockey, it’s with anything that gets thrown at you throughout life.”
The twenty-year-old winger is being confronted like many others across the CHL at this time of year, caught up in a numbers game.
“I’m not even trying to think about it,” said Seitz when asked about the Wildcats overage situation.
“I take every single day at the rink like I have before with the attitude that I am playing for the Moncton Wildcats.”
With all the uncertainty Seitz remains fixated on his fulfilling his role and identity with the organization.
“I compete to not only make myself better, but also my teammates. The only thing I have to say is I never want to compete for a spot with any of my friends where it could potentially ruin a friendship,” confessed Seitz.
“Hunts, Aspi and Mika are all very close friends and no matter what happens to any of us, we will always be close, I wish them nothing but the best.”
Spoken like a true team first guy, Dylan Seitz is all heart and soul.
Seitz believes his style of play and identity is sometimes lacking in todays game in the major junior ranks.
“I feel like my type of hockey is hard to find nowadays.”
“Every team has their superstars and every team has their tough guys and I feel like I make a good mix of both,” said the confident soft-spoken winger.
“I don’t expect myself to put up a 100 point season, but I’m confident in ability my to score goals and make good plays.”
“At the same time when the time comes I’m not afraid to throw my body around and defend my teammates.”
Seitz has certainly lived up to his identity and more during his tenure with the Wildcats. In his first season with the Cats, Seitz put up impressive numbers amassing 19 goals and 16 assists in 69 games while racking up 138 PIM’s.
In 75 games with the Cats a season ago Seitz was able to light the lamp 16 times while adding 20 assists.
The opportunity to play in the QMJHL and continue his CHL career isn’t lost on the well-spoken veteran. “I will always be thankful for the opportunity I was given with the Wildcats.”
“Moncton has become a second home for me,” said Seitz.
“I’ve made life long friends here and memories I will never forget.”
“I wasn’t really nervous about the new league cause I was pretty familiar with the Q, but I was nervous about moving a thousand miles across Canada to a city I’ve never been to.”
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of my family and just thankful for everything that’s come with me playing for the Wildcats.”
A Memorable Journey
As a young boy Dylan Seitz dreamed of playing hockey north of the border in the Canadian Hockey League, that didn’t mean that he would never cherish the opportunity to represent his beloved country.
“My most memorable moment was probably with Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka tournament,” admitted Seitz.
“It was my first time traveling overseas and didn’t know what to expect.”
“Getting to travel the world and play hockey at the same time was the best thing ever.”
“Unfortunately our tournament didn’t have a ‘fairy tale ending’, we ended up losing in the Gold medal game, but it was still an experience I will never forget.”
Obviously, Seitz has never been intimidated by the larger moments that the games presents; nevertheless, his job in the 2018 President Cup Playoffs was certainly unfamiliar territory.
Former Moncton Wildcats bench boss Darren Rumble, identified Seitz as the perfect candidate to shadow hockey’s next superstar Alexis Lafreniere.
The Rimouski Oceanic scoring sensation entered the 2018 playoffs, being the first 16-year-old to score 40 in the QMJHL since well you guessed it, Sidney Crosby.
If the Wildcats were going to win they had to shut down the young phenom.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know what to expect when I was asked to do it at the time,” confessed Seitz.
“I never even heard of shadowing someone or ever saw it done before, so it was all new to me, but there’s nothing I embrace more than a challenge.”
“Obviously, I was all for it.”
The duo’s battle became the talk of the series. So what was said, how heated did really get on and off the ice? “I won’t say anything specific on what we said to each other, but it was a hard nose series and I have nothing but respect for Alexis.”
“With him being only sixteen at the time and taking all that from me for seven games must of been pretty annoying when you’re trying to play a hockey game.”
“Alexis is an exceptional player and most people compare him to the next Sidney Crosby and I can see it as well. He will be the 1st overall pick in the NHL this year because you can just see it in his work ethic and the amount of skill he has and dedication to be the best player on the ice every night.”
The Moncton Wildcats beat the 3rd place overall Oceanic in Game 7.
The Wildcats victory turns out to be one of the largest upsets in the QMJHL history. Seitz and Lafreniere actually met after the series to discuss their odd experience.
“After the playoffs ended that year, I actually had a chance to catch up with Alexis off the ice. We had a nice long conversation, he did tell me he couldn’t stand me during the series.”
“He said that I was good at what I was doing. I returned the favor telling him he was an exceptional player and wished him best of luck in the future.”
“I have nothing but respect for him and wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
From shadowing hockey’s next great superstar to battling it out for one of the final overage roster positions this season, what does the gritty skilled two-way wingers future hold?
“I haven’t really thought about what I want to do when my junior career is over. Honestly I don’t want to think about it.”
“Obviously everybody wants to play in the NHL, but sometimes you have to make a plan that is the best fit for you.”
“Right now my main focus is hoisting the Memorial Cup with the Wildcats.”
Uncertainty continues to confront Dylan Seitz’ future with the Wildcats. What direction will the organization take when considering their three overagers?
One thing we do know for sure Dylan Seitz is all heart and soul, no one will ever question that.