Updated: May 21, 2020 11:32 PM
Created: May 21, 2020 07:54 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — We're proud of all of the athletes that we get to cover and profile. From high school, college, the pros and even the weekend warriors playing for the love of the game, we have incredible stories to share in our area. Recently we added another professional hockey player to our ranks, Jack Dugan has eyes on the NHL.
"It was the right time to make the jump and for me personally, I achieved everything I wanted to achieve in college hockey," Dugan said.
Last week, Dugan decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility at Providence and take his shot at the pros; he leaves with many happy memories.
"Things like the Frozen 4 always stick with me, we played it in Buffalo, and being so close to home and having everyone there was really special," Dugan said.
The leading scorer in all of college hockey last season follows in the footsteps of iconic players from Rochester. Both Brian Gionta and Ryan Callahan carved out great careers, something Dugan would like to emulate one day.
"They're definitely guys I looked up to growing up and hopefully I'll be able to form a relationship with them over the next couple of years," Dugan said.
But Dugan enters the league at a really strange time. The NHL is still on its league-wide pause while the country sifts through the health crisis. Selected in the fifth round of the 2017 Draft by the Vegas Golden Knights, there isn't currently a team for Jack to report to.
"Right now I'm just waiting to see what they have to say and they're waiting to see what higher-ups in the NHL decide to do, right now it's a bit of a waiting game," Dugan said.
Waiting is the operative word, currently, ice rinks in the area are closed so Dugan is working on off-ice conditioning to stay in shape. But he's ready to make his mark on his new team and the league.
"I'm hoping I'm able to go out there and get a chance and at least practice with them and be on the roster for a little bit and have an idea in the following training camp of what's going on and what I have to do to take my best shot at making the big team in my first year," Dugan said.
We certainly wish Dugan all the best of luck. He also told us that the player he's most looking forward to facing in the NHL is Alexander Ovechkin. Who knows, maybe they'll meet in the Stanley Cup.
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