Junior forward Ryan Dzingel isn’t the most vocal player on Ohio State’s men’s hockey team, but that doesn’t stop him from being a leader.
“He is a quiet leader. How he plays the game is how he leads,” associate head coach Brett Larson said.
That leadership has seen Dzingel nominated for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the best collegiate hockey player in the country. The award is currently in the fan voting process to narrow the nominees down to 10, at which point a board will then finalize three nominees and announce the winner at the Frozen Four in April.
“It’s not easy balancing all the most important things in my life. Faith, family and friends are the most important things in my life and always will be. I feel that if those three things are in place, school and hockey will follow. Takes hard work but all student-athletes find a way to get it done,” Dzingel said in an email.
Dzingel said his biggest role models are his parents. He describes his mom as sweet and caring and said he “would like to be half the person she is.”
As for his dad, who battled through cancer this past year, Dzingel said, “I could not be more proud to call him my role model/father.”
The junior forward from Wheaton, Ill., joined the Buckeyes in 2011 as part of a class Dzingel described as “special.”
“We knew three years ago coming in that we had a special junior class, and we were given a lot of opportunity and responsibility right away. There is a lot of talent, leadership, and hard-working guys in (this) group, which has helped us a lot. I’m proud to be a part of it.” Dzingel said.
Dzingel is averaging 1.36 points per game, which leads the Big Ten and ties for 16th-best in the country. He also leads the Buckeyes in goals with 14 and is tied for the lead in assists with 16.
“He continually puts a lot of effort into improving his shot. On and off the ice, he is always working on it,” Larson said. “The more shots he takes, the more goals, so I think that work ethic — working on that one area of his game — is really starting to pay off for him.”
Dzingel attributes his success to shooting the puck more but also credits his teammates. He said he feels the Buckeyes can be successful if they can correct a couple mistakes.
“We have a lot of guys who have bought into the team comes first (mentality). It’s a little bit cliche but we have got a good group of character people who believe in the team,” Larson said.
The next puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. Friday at the Schottenstein Center when the Buckeyes take on Penn State.