Q&A: Alex Dingeldein shares hockey plans

Téalin Robinson, Editor-in-Chief

Q: Why did you decide to play ice hockey before going to college?
A: I love to play hockey and I wish to do it at the highest level possible. Not many people get to experience everything that comes with playing junior hockey. Playing seven seasons for the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals program was a huge commitment for me because I spent most weekends traveling to various parts of the country competing in showcases and tournaments to catch the eyes of scouts so I can play at the next level. I can always go to college, but I only have one opportunity to play junior hockey.

Q: What does it mean to be playing junior hockey?
A: It’s basically an intermediate step between youth hockey and college hockey. It’s a level where kids (usually aged 16-21) go to continue their hockey career at a high level and most hope to earn a college scholarship. Just to clarify, technically I will not be playing professionally as I will not be getting paid, and the competition level is not quite that high. But most clubs are run like a mini pro team, meaning it’s free to play, and most teams have trainers, equipment managers, nutritionists, etc. And almost all teams attract fans to their games from their respective cities which is pretty cool.

Q: Which team will you be playing for?
A: I have decided to sign a tender, a contract that announces my intentions/commitment to play for that particular team, and that team only, with the Kenai River Brown Bears (located in Soldotna, Alaska) of the North American Hockey League (“NAHL”).

Q: When would you begin playing?
A: Usually the seasons begin in early September, so I would report to my team sometime in August for training camp. I am a little nervous to be so far away from home and put into a totally different environment both hockey-wise and culturally. But, at the same time, I’m very excited for this experience to play hockey at a very high level and to hopefully earn a college scholarship.

Q: Where will you be traveling to?
A: The Brown Bears are in the Midwest division which means I will be taking multiple trips to Wisconsin,and the Midwest for games, which I’m happy about.

Q: How time consuming is this opportunity?
A: Junior hockey players spend about four hours a day at the rink, so a lot of kids find a job to take up a little bit of the free time. Others decide to take online classes to get a head start on school for when their junior hockey career is over. Many organizations provide service/volunteer opportunities in their respective towns for their players to participate in.