By: Ken Oda, minotauroshockey.com
Minot, ND – As the Minotauros seventh season draws near it is time to start meeting the players heading to Minot for training camp. Camp opens September 3rd and the pre-season opens on September 9th against the Bismarck Bobcats at the Maysa Arena. We continue meeting the team with defenseman Erik Dahl.
Dahl, an 18-year-old Lakeville, MN, native is not without North Dakota ties. His mother Ann graduated from the University of North Dakota and his father Richard played football for the Bison of North Dakota State. A big defenseman, at 6’4” and 207 lbs, he is built like a football player; his frame will remind Tauro fans of Tauro alum Scott Dornbrock (Miami University, NCAA DI). Dahl joins the Tauros after playing the last two seasons at the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s.
The Tauros coaching and scouting staffs are excited about the big defenseman. Head Coach and General Manager Marty Murray said, “I thought we were a little undersized on the back end last season. Erik is a monster that moves well for a big guy. I think he could be a better junior player than he was a midget player, as I think junior hockey fits his style.” While Assistant General Manager Chris Lonke raved, “Big E simply has a presence about him that I believe will make him an impact player as a rookie in the NAHL… He is a big boy with a great reach.”
For his part, Dahl sets a high standard for himself, “I try to model my game after Colton Parayko of the [St. Louis] Blues. He’s a big strong defenseman that shuts down the other team’s top players and can get involved offensively.” Getting involved offensively may be a bit of an understatement as Dahl posted 30 points last season at Shattuck on 4 goals and 26 assists in 55 games played.
As Murray hinted, Lonke believes the transition to junior will go smoothly, “Erik has played in many big games already coming from the Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep program. He will know how to prepare and won’t be intimated by the NAHL stage.”
As for the type of player Dahl will be in Minot he and Murray are in lockstep. Dahl described himself thusly, “two-way defense that takes care of his own zone first and can chip in offensively. “ While Murray said, “we want him to focus on being very sound defensively, and to have the ability to jump up in the play when the opportunity presents itself.” As for goals for the season Dahl said, “my personal goals are to get better every day and win a Robertson cup.” On that Murray would agree as well.
Come back tomorrow when we will catch up with veteran forward Austin Dollimer. Do not miss your chance to see Dahl and all of the Tauros in action for the first time September 9th at 7:35 at the Maysa Arena when the Bismarck Bobcats come to Minot to open the pre-season.