Dallas, TX, United States (4E Sports) – Tommy Olczyk, son of former NHL superstar and Hall of Fame-bound Ed Olczyk, has been selected to captain Penn State’s ice hockey team in 2012-13.
The Nittany Lions will play an independent schedule this season before becoming the newest member of the powerful Big Ten hockey conference in 2013-14.
“You have to lead the right way on the ice and off the ice. You have to go out and compete your butt off, work hard and play with an edge but respect the game,” said Tommy Olczyk.
Being captain, the young Olczyk said he should change the way he plays and his demeanor off the ice to set an example to fellow students.
“You can’t be throwing cheap shots. It works the same in the real world. You have to be nice to people and can’t take things for granted. You have to appreciate every moment on and off the ice,” he said.
Tommy played four seasons with the Sioux City Musketeers in the United States Hockey League before joining Penn State’s club team in 2011-12, producing 24 goals and 52 points in 31 games.
In 2010-11, Tommy garnered the USHL’s Curt Hammer Award, which is presented to the player who distinguishes himself both on and off the ice by demonstrating outstanding performance skills, pride and determination.
Tommy said he informed his father about the good news after a two-hour practice but the secret was already out.
“He got a bunch of texts while I was on the ice at practice and he knew by the time I called him and he was proud,” Tommy Olczyk said.
For his part, Ed Olczyk will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Tuesday alongside Mike Modano and Lou Lamoriello in a ceremony at the Plaza of the Americas Atrium.
“It was awesome,” Tommy Olczyk said. “We were already so proud of him and all his accomplishments. Away from hockey, he’s a great person and I’ve never had a better role model. He’s such an ambassador for the game of hockey and I really couldn’t ask for anyone better to look up to.”
A third overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1984, Ed played 16 seasons for the Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins.
In 1,031 career NHL games, Ed scored 342 goals and had 452 assists for 794 points. He won a Stanley Cup with the 1993-94 Rangers.