Photo: Rena Laverty/ USA Hockey
By JACK LeGWIN
Making the transition to the next level isn’t always easy, and Danny Weight (Lattingtown, N.Y.) learned that quickly.
“I was really nervous when I got here, because everyone is so good,” Weight told BTS Sports. “You’re not the man anymore, you don’t get extra ice time or special treatment. You’re not going to the power play every time like you were last year. I got through the first couple months, which was tough, but it’s going well now. I’ve gotten stronger and it’s easier to play in the USHL now.”
Having older players around from the U18 program who had made the transition definitely helped Weight in his own transition though, he recalled.
“I’ve spoken to some of the guys that had some trouble last year, and they told me to just keep pushing and that it would get easier,” Weight said. “It’s good to hear from them that things will get easier, and they definitely did. At the beginning it was hard to be away from home, once I got around the guys though, and realized that I wouldn’t get the same training and the same level of competition at home, that feeling went away. It’s going very well. I’m really happy to be here.”
When asked about what he feels has been the hardest part of the jump, the 5-foot-11, 187 pound Weight spoke about how much faster everyone is on the ice.
“The speed was the toughest part,” Weight said. “I’m not a fast player, but last year I was still one of the fastest guys on the team. Coming here, everyone is so fast and they’re really strong. Playing in the USHL has shown me how much faster I need to get, and that’s the main thing I’ve been working on.”
Weight recalls that the first experience he had at the tryout was a reality check.
“I really got to see everyone play that I hadn’t seen before,” Weight said. “It was eye opening for me because everyone is so good. It’s awesome, because you know these are the guys you have to compete against. It makes you work harder. I’d rather be here fighting for power play time, and training with the best players than being anywhere else.”
Many players have that one moment where they knew they wanted to be a hockey player at the highest level, and Weight is no different.
“Probably John Carlson’s goal in 2010 to win the World Juniors,” Weight said. “I was going crazy when he scored. I started working really hard when I saw that.”
Committed to Boston College, Weight says that he’d always wanted to get a chance to play in Beantown, and he jumped at the opportunity when it arose.
“I’ve always wanted to be in Boston,” Weight said. “I love the coaching staff, I love the team, but I’ve always wanted to be in Boston, it’s an awesome city. I toured all of the schools, and all of the guys were awesome, they get together and go to Bruins games, so I’m just really excited for the opportunity.”
With many top level players coming out of the NTDP program and heading to Boston College, Weight knows he will be held to a high standard. He maintains that he looks forward to this dynamic, seeing it as a great opportunity.
“It’s a great program,” Weight said. “Anyone that goes there from this program is going to have high expectations, which I like. They have a great training staff, and all the tools to become a good player. You just have to go there, work hard and get better.”
Weight currently has 6 goals and 9 assists through 28 games for the U17 Program.