In this week's 'Making of a Royal' blog, head coach Pat LaFontaine discusses the meteoric rise of center Dylan Holze (5-foot-9, 150 pounds) of Lynbrook, N.Y. Holze, who is playing a huge role for the Long Island Royals this season, is currently fourth on the team in scoring with 39 points. LaFontaine has coached Holze five out of his eight seasons with the team.
Dylan Holze is kind of an unsung hero. He does everything really well, but I think his strongest attribute is his really strong hockey sense. He's a hard worker and his game has elevated over the course of a season.
Dylan ran into a little bit of a goal-scoring slump there for a bit, but he's broken out of that in a really strong way. He's a quiet leader, comes to work and plays hard every shift and every game. He's also a good penalty killer and that takes a special talent. He possesses soft hands and moves the puck.
He plays mostly on a line with Daniel [LaFontaine] and Justin [Bailey]; they've been together a lot. We rotate our centers so they mix and get a different center here and there. For the most part, that's been a line that's been together for about half the season; he's self-motivated. He has a real quiet inner passion and holds a lot inside, but has that inner fire where you know he wants to play and wants to do well. He's obviously a great kid to coach and I'm very proud of him -- he's just been a real asset for our team.
He just works hard and helps his mom [Lisa] out, so how could you not like a kid like that. Lisa has been the quintessential true hockey mom. She's had to be the mom and father-figure -- playing a dual role. She's always there, always supporting. She's driving between Boston University to watch her daughter, Taylor, play for BU and then driving to Royals' games to see Dylan.
She's always doing whatever she can for her kids and she does an amazing job -- I don't know how she does it, but she does. I'm really fond of Dylan and his sister, Taylor [a junior at BU]. The foundation run by [Royals assistant coach] Steve Webb was able to provide Taylor some funding through the foundation to attend [the North American Hockey Academy in Stowe, Vt.], which led to her getting a scholarship to play at BU. So Steve has been a great mentor for Taylor and Dylan.
The thing is, whether it's Steve, myself or Scottie [Donahue], we're trying to not only instill hockey skills and what it takes to grow in the game and reach that next level, but more importantly teach people's skills and life skills with the hope that they might be able to pass along some of that on when they are off the ice. That's just as important to us.