Young Canadian-American ice hockey centre Dylan Duke quietly went about his business during the recent Tampa Bay Lightning development camp. Adding to this, the forward’s competitive fire was lit when the time for the 3-on-3 tournament at the end of camp.
The 19-year-old Duke stood out, skating hard, driving to the gritty areas of the rink, winning puck battles and showing a chippy side. Duke, who is a fourth-round selection (No. 126) by the Lightning in the 2021 NHL Draft, was noticed well by Stacy Roest, the assistant general manager and director of player development.
“I think I had my legs pretty good,” Duke said, as quoted by NHL.com. “It’s been a fun week. I’m a competitive guy and I think that’s what makes me a good hockey player. No matter what, if it’s 3-on-3 at development camp, I’m giving it my all.”
“The boys were buzzing around,” Duke said. “There were a couple of stick taps and a lot of chatter out there. That’s what you love to see. It was a close game too … came right down to the wire.”
“Duke will have a bigger role this year”
The Ohio native Duke will continue working on his game in his second season at the University of Michigan. He scored 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 41 games as a freshman. Following this, Michigan reached the Frozen Four and was cruising well before it lost to Denver in the national semifinals.
“When you watch him play, you love his compete and his hockey sense,” Roest said. “You can tell as the games picked up out there he gets more competitive. In the corners, he starts [winning battles] a little more. We were very happy with his role on his team last year. He will have a bigger role this year. He’s progressing very nicely. He’s a gamer.”