Know Your Bobcat – Dylan Parker
Throughout the months of August and September, BismarckBobcats.com will be taking a one-by-one look at the players on the Bobcats’ Training Camp Roster. Today’s installment features rookie Bobcat goalie Dylan Parker.
Name: Dylan Parker
Hometown: Duluth, MN
Weight: 170 lbs.
2012-13 Team: Duluth East Greyhounds
2012-13 Stats: 24 GP, 15-4-0, 1.74 GAA, .913 SV%, 2 SO
Favorite TV Show: Breaking Bad
Favorite NHL Team: Los Angeles Kings
Highlight of 2012-13: “Getting back to the Xcel Energy Center and making it all the way to the state semifinals when nobody expected us to be a state tournament team.”
Who Needs to Rebuild?
After three straight years of appearances in Minnesota’s world-famous State High School Hockey Tournament, many experts thought that, with the departures of Mr. Hockey Jake Randolph and Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick Dom Toninato and eventual NAHL All-Rookie Defenseman Nate Repensky, 2012-13 would mark a rebuilding year for the Duluth East Greyhounds.
So much for that.
Behind another strong year for current Bismarck Bobcats rookie goalie Dylan Parker and a balanced attack, the Greyhounds rolled up a 21-4-0 record.
Despite the lower expectations, the 2012-13 road wasn’t any easier for East.
“When you’re a team that’s put together so many State Tournament appearances, you definitely have a target on your back,” submitted Parker. “Everyone wants to take you out and say they beat Duluth East; nobody wants you to win another section title.”
But that’s exactly what the Greyhounds did, with Parker pitching shutouts in 15-0 and 3-0 wins over St. Michael-Albertville and Cloquet/Esko/Carlton, respectively, before edging Grand Rapids 4-3 in the Section 7AA finals.
At the State Tournament, the Greyhounds topped Moorhead 1-0 behind another shutout from Parker before falling to the eventual State Champion Edina Hornets 3-2 in the semifinals.
Duluth East would finish third at the tournament, thanks to a 7-3 rout of Wayzata in the third place game.
“To be able to make it that far when nobody believed we could get to State was a great feeling,” stated Parker. “We all came together as a team and proved it not only to the doubters but to ourselves that we still belonged at ‘The X’ in March.”
When goalie coaches and scouts analyze netminders in 2013, usually they’re categorized as either blocking or reacting goalies. Blocking goalies are often referred to as being more positionally sound while reacting goalies use their athleticism to challenge shooters and recover to crossing passes.
For Dylan Parker, though, he doesn’t like to choose sides in the modern goaltending philosophy debate.
“I like to employ both techniques when I’m in net,” offered Parker, who finished top 10 in the entire state of Minnesota with a 1.74 GAA in 2012-13. “For me it starts with being in the right position and making the steady, easy save and then using speed and athleticism to react to rebounds and passes.
“You definitely don’t have to be one or the other.”
One goalie that Parker watches closely and takes cues from is 2012 Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings.
“The thing that you really notice when you watch Quick is that he plays with such confidence,” credited Parker. “He has that faith in himself to challenge hard and know that he can recover and make that big save if there’s a rebound or a tricky pass.”
One part of Parker’s game that he doesn’t brag about is a factor that looms large for the Bobcat coaching staff.
“Dylan is a goalie that has had a lot of success in a winning program,” stressed Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie of his 1995 birth year netminder, “which is an intangible you can’t underestimate in a younger player, especially in a position that trades so much in confidence as goalie does.”
At age 18, moving seven hours away to a new state—as Dylan Parker has to be a Bobcat—can be a tough proposition.
But Parker had a secret weapon in making the transition from the Twin Ports to the Capital City: former Greyhound teammate Nate Repensky, who spent the 2012-13 season turning heads as an All-Rookie blueliner with the Bobcats.
“Having Nate here to show me the ropes has made things a lot easier as a rookie,” admitted Parker. “He was there to help me get to know the guys and fit in in the locker room. With those things taken care of so easily, it gave me a chance to focus on training camp and playing hockey and showing the coaches my best effort.”
That support system and the ability to focus on performance has helped Parker have a strong training camp for the black and gold.
After battling through Hell Week and a full week of extended practices, Parker put together a strong showing Friday in his first preseason action: stopping all 11 shots he faced in just over a period of ice time, holding the fort while his teammates’ rally came up one goal short in a 3-2 loss at Minot.
“I was happy with the way I was able to play my game and play with confidence in a tough barn like Minot’s,” said Parker, who did not factor in Friday’s decision. “Now I’m hoping to keep it rolling from here on out.”
Stay tuned to BismarckBobcats.com over the next month-plus as we take you in-depth with every player on the Training Camp Roster in preparation for the 2013-14 season. This week we’ll also sit down with Nick Wallace and Cullen Willox.
Know Your Bobcat – Dylan Parker