Dylan Samberg did a lot for Hermantown hockey during his time there. Not only did he captain the Hawks last season, but he also scored the game-winning goal in overtime in the state title game to lift Hermantown to back-to-back MSHSL Class A championships.
He's since moved on from Hermantown, but he's continued to make his former teammates and coaches proud.
"I am so proud of him. He is salt of the earth, one of the greatest kids ever," said Hawks head coach Pat Andrews, who was Samberg's assistant coach with the Hawks in 2016-17.
Samberg, now a freshman defenseman for the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), was taken in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets in June.
His most recent achievement, however, occurred this past Saturday when it was announced that he made the U.S. National Junior Team ahead of the IIHF World Junior Championship.
"Everyday I see him playing for the Bulldogs and doing all these great things like playing for Team USA," said Hawks senior Jacob Herter. "It's amazing to see and it just shows how good Hermantown hockey is that we can bring in and breath these Team USA type players."
"It's going to be an unreal experience," said Hawks senior Tyler Watkins. "Obviously, he's played in some real big games. He played in three state championships and UMD so far this season. I think he'll be a great player for them."
"No one deserves this opportunity more," said Andrews. "It's just so special for him. We're all pulling for him and all of us back here can't wait to turn on the TV and watch him help the U.S. win a gold medal."
Samberg is one of five UMD players this year representing Team USA, which begins play in the IIHF World Junior Championship tomorrow against Denmark. The tournament runs until January 5 in Buffalo, New York.