Dominik Shine may share the spelling of his first name with one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history, but it will be his ability to create good plays in front of the crease that will push his chances to graduate to the NHL.
“I like his speed and how he’s tenacious on the puck,” said Griffins head coach Todd Nelson. “I also like his physicality and how when he keeps the game simple, he’s really effective and creates opportunities in the offensive zone.”
Shine is not the biggest player on the ice – he’s a 5-11, 180-lb. forward – but he’s all heart, a gritty puck hound who isn’t afraid to stick up for himself, as he proved when he dropped Cleveland’s Joe Pendenza with an impressive two-punch knockout on Dec. 29 at Van Andel Arena.
His tough-nosed style fits his blue-collar mentality, which was borne out of his family roots as the son of a Detroit autoworker growing up on the city’s ethnic southwest side. “My dad was a big Wings fan, and although he never had the opportunity to play hockey, he made sure that I got the chance,” Shine said.
Shine remembers being “terrified” when he first started skating, but he quickly discovered that he loved playing hockey. “By age 7 or 8, I knew I had a knack,’ he said. “I loved playing baseball and basketball, but I knew from an early age that playing hockey was what I wanted to do. Other sports were just for fun.”