Northeastern University hockey player Dylan Sikura aims to jump-start Huskies’ fortunes against Michigan State

December 17, 2016 GMT

Northeastern hockey player Dylan Sikura doesn’t take a back seat to anyone when it comes to hard work.

Growing up on his family’s thoroughbred race horse breeding operation just outside Toronto, he was weaned upon daily chores on the farm, whether it was attending to horses or cleaning the stables.

“I can do my fair share of handling horses. As a young kid, I was always helping out at the horse sales or going over to help my dad muck stalls,” said the Huskies’ junior forward.

“Nowadays, I don’t have too much time to see my dad at his work, but every year before I go back to school, that’s when the horse sales start. That’s my last trip to see my dad (Glenn) or uncle (John),” Sikura continued. “It’s cool. It would be the same thing as him coming to watch me play hockey.”

At 6-foot and 165 pounds, any dreams Sikura had of becoming a jockey were left in the starting gate. But his skill set when it comes to skating, passing and shooting a puck were enough to entice the Chicago Blackhawks to select the speedy, left-handed-shooting winger in the sixth round (178th overall) in the 2014 NHL draft.

The 21-year-old is second on the Huskies (5-7-4) in goals with 10 after notching his first collegiate hat trick in a win over Minnesota.

The Huskies face Michigan State tomorrow (3 p.m.) in East Lansing, Mich., as part of a three-sport weekend tripleheader with the men’s basketball (7 p.m.) and women’s basketball (noon) teams. The Huskies hosted the Spartans for a similar tripleheader last year.

“It’s pretty cool. We get to see Michigan State-NU basketball game. It’s the first time for a bunch of us at Michigan State, so I’m excited,” Sikura said. “I haven’t been to that school. It should be a fun experience. Last year, at least for us, it was a big game because it kind of set us off on a nice little run. So, we’re going after two points and try to get rolling for the second half.”

NU coach Jim Madigan hit the lottery when he nabbed Sikura on the recruiting trail.

Sikura originally intended to follow his older brother Tyler to Darmouth, but he was drawn to the competition of Hockey East. After he visited the Huntington Avenue campus, attended the Beanpot, and met the team, Sikura committed to the Huskies.

“Highly skilled, intelligent player. He makes great plays” said Madigan. “He has a lot of confidence with his stick skills. He creates offense. He uses his mind to beat you versus his body because his body is still developing.

“He’s just so skilled, one of the most skilled players we’ve ever had at Northeastern.

“What’s nice is that he’s always been a pass-first, play-maker (and) distributor and what he’s doing this year is he’s shooting the puck more. He has such an accurate shot, it’s not a heavy shot, but it’s a quick release and it’s accurate. His offense now has more diversity.”

Sikura has played much of the season as the left winger on a line with sophomore center Adam Gaudette of Braintree and sophomore right winger Lincoln Griffin of Walpole. He hopes the MSU trip will mirror last year’s sojurn to Northern Ireland that jump-started NU to a stunning 21-3-3 mark down the stretch that culminated in its first conference championship since 1988.

“This year, we’ve only had one stay-over trip (at Quinnipiac) so it should be fun for us,” he said. “It’s definitely not Ireland, but the guys can get closer together.”