When Arsh Dhillon, suits up for the Kalkaska Rhinos next season, he’ll do it already knowing at least one teammate.
Dhillon, a Vancouver, British Columbia native, skated last season for the Okanagan Hockey Academy in nearby Penticton with fellow Kalkaska signee Hikaru Kinowaki, who signed with the Rhinos earlier this week.
He’ll turn 18 this November.
“One of my close friends (Kinowaki) saw that there was a tryout there in Kalkaska and said it would be a great opportunity to see how the hockey is in the States,” said Dhillon, a 6-foot-4 defenseman. “I feel like I’ll be a good fit in the team. I bring leadership and, of course, the jokes to keep the mood light when things aren’t going right. It’ll be awesome to play with Hikaru again. He’s a great player and teammate and to be with him for another year or more is just a great opportunity to get closer with each other.”
And in playing for the Rhinos, Dhillon is anxious to receive high-quality coaching as well.
“What I hope to accomplish here in Kalkaska is to become a better player on and off the ice and to take in everything Coach (Krzysztof) Oliwa has to offer,” Dhillon said. “I’m an offensive defenseman and I bring a lot of passion and energy to the team. I like to stir things up once in a while if things aren’t going right and I love to use my body in the corners.”
“We are very excited to get Arsh for this coming season, another big man for our blue line,” added Oliwa. “He brings leadership and we certainly look forward to having him here and helping him accomplish his goals, which I know include NCAA Division I hockey.”
Still, the move to Michigan should bring more exposure to Dhillon as he looks to improve his game in the USPHL.
“I’ve been to Michigan once and it was a great experience for me,” said Dhillon. “It’s a lot different from Vancouver and I’m just honored to have the opportunity to live there. It’ll be a good experience since one of my friends will be there as well and I can’t wait to get started.”
Dhillon noted that his short-term goals are to develop his game on the ice and to become a better person off the ice, while his long-term goal is as Oliwa alluded to, which is to play NCAA D-I hockey and continuing his education.
Source: Kalkaska Rhinos