Drew O’Connor is a class of 2016 forward at the Delbarton School in New Jersey. He recently committed to play his college hockey in the Ivy League at Dartmouth College. Drew was kind enough to answer some questions about his time with the Selects program, his future at Dartmouth, and his advice for younger players that seek to follow a similar path.
How did you become interested in the Selects Hockey program? What led you to choose Selects over other programs?
I first played for the Selects team in the Summer of 2010 for the Atlantic District team in Buffalo. I really enjoyed the experience and decided that I would like to continue to play for Selects. After making the East Coast-Q team, I played in several tournaments including the WSI in Latvia and Sweden, as well as NAPS in Buffalo. I had great teammates and the coaching staff was great and willing to help everybody become a better player.
What was it that made Dartmouth the right place for you to continue your hockey career?
Visiting Dartmouth was an amazing experience and once I was able to see everything the school had to offer, there was no hesitation. The rink, campus, and staff were all great, and with the incredible academics it felt like a perfect fit.
What are your goals as a hockey player? How was Selects Hockey helped you move towards those goals?
One of my goals has always been to play Division-1 hockey in college. Playing for Selects Hockey at a young age was a great experience and very important in my development as a player. I played on very good teams with exceptional players, and it helped me realize where I stood and all the work I had to do in order to get to the level I wanted to play at.
What would be your advice for younger players that would like to play college hockey someday?
It is very important for young players especially to always play with confidence and believe in themselves. I have had many coaches over the years that have supported me and helped me move onto the next level. However, I’ve also played for programs where I was not one of the top players or given a chance. One of the things I have learned is to always stick with it and to work through adversity. The most important thing I can say is to understand where you are as a player and find ways to improve yourself.
We’re thrilled to have alumni like Drew who have achieved so much success both on and off the ice. The entire Selects family will be cheering him on as he takes the next step in his career as a college hockey player!