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N A L DY ESE RE

Dylan Reese has done some pretty nifty things on the ice as a hockey player.

The former defenseman for Upper St Clair High School was also captain of the midget major Pittsburgh Hornets, played for the USHL Pittsburgh Forge, and won a hockey scholarship to Harvard. He was drafted by the New York Rangers, and he played two seasons for the New York Islanders. When the National Hockey League training camps open this year, he’ll be attempting what would be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream— to earn a spot on the roster of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Reese, a 2002 graduate of Upper St. Clair High School, was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Penguins this summer. He played part of the last three seasons with the New York Islanders and their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport

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Welcomes Opportunity to Return to Roots as

Sound Tigers, and prior to that, had been part of the Columbus Blue Jackets organization in Syracuse. He made his professional debut in 2007 with the San Antonio Rampage, after signing with the Phoenix Coyotes. He never signed with the New York Rangers, after they drafted him in 2003. Reese went on to play four seasons at Harvard, where he not only led all defensemen and scoring for two seasons, but was part of the best defensive unit in the nation. He also served as captain of the Crimson in his senior year. His ability to play a solid game defensively along with his knack of scoring led to his ultimate signing with the Penguins. It is something both Reese and the Penguins hope will be a natural fit. “The vibe I got from the Penguins was encouraging,” Reese said. “They were one of the first teams to call, and they were very encouraging that they could see me fitting into the puzzle. I think that I’m a good two-way defenseman, and my style of getting the puck up to the forwards quickly suits their system. I got a good feeling from the Penguins that I could fit in really well.” The chance to play hockey in his hometown not only gives Reese the opportunity of a lifetime, but it also provides him a fresh start with an organization that has always been near and dear to him. “I’ve played in three organizations in the past five years, and it involved meeting whole new teams and adjusting to whole new systems,” Reese said. “There’s a comfort factor about being in Pittsburgh. I’ve skated with a lot of the Penguins’ players when they’ve been in town before camp, and I feel comfortable with the Pittsburgh staff and their system.” Reese, who turns 28 on August 29, has obviously grown in maturity and in hockey experience, but in a personal sense has always

“To be able to play in your hometown is really special. Not a lot of guys get that opportunity, and I’m really excited about it.”

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–Dylan Reese Upper St. Clair

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carried Upper St Clair and Pittsburgh with him wherever he has played. His connection with family and friends at home remain strong. During his professional career, he has endeavored to spend as much of the off season at home with parents Barry and Marcie Reese, and his younger brother Evan, 24, who now lives and works in Boston. “Evan is a huge Penguins fan, and he was probably more excited than anyone when I told him what was going on,” Reese said. “He has the NHL TV package and when the Penguins were on TV, he told me he’d try to catch some of my games when I was playing with the Islanders.” The Reese brothers grew up in the Mario Lemieux era in Pittsburgh, and Dylan said that Mario’s influence led to his decision to play hockey. Others however, helped him refine his skills, and helped him to become a better player and individual. “I had a lot of great coaches along the way,” Reese said. He includes Mike Magulik, his first coach with the Pittsburgh Hornets, Joe Gaul, his coach with the midget major Hornets, and former Penguins coach

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