One Seton Hall hockey player has traveled an unusual road to fulfill to his childhood dream of playing hockey at the collegiate level.
Alexander Rudolph, Senior forward of Davie, Florida followed his dream of playing hockey to New Jersey and in his fourth year it has lead him to become a team leader both on and off the ice.
“The very first time I laced up my skates and took to the ice I knew this was where I belonged; I would go anywhere it took me.”
Encouraged by his hockey-oriented family Rudolph first stepped on the ice as a four year old. Since then he’s been on the ice in various leagues from instructional to tier- three-juniors.
His senior year of high school came and he hadn’t received any scholarship offers from any hockey programs in the country. Rudolph didn’t let that deter him from doing what he’s always dreamt of.
“I remember the day I received the email from the former Seton Hall coach asking about my interest in the program,” said Rudolph. Just like that a window he thought was closed was most certainly open.
Seton Hall isn’t known for their hockey program. The program is division two and can’t dish out scholarships to their players. So it’s rare to see a player from such a great distance away show interest let alone commit to the program.
Rudolph received accepted into the University in 2013 and he was well on his way to fulfilling his dream. But just being able to say that wasn’t good enough for the forward as he aimed to be an affluent part of the team.
“He is a team first guy, extremely unselfish and he does what he can to unite us as a group on and off the ice,” said Austin Francois Seton Hall goalie.
Rudolph describes himself as a “hard hitting forward with a scoring touch and a good view of the ice.” He models his game after Alexander Ovechkin captain forward of the NHL’s Washington Capitals as a forward and team leader.
“He does all the dirty work you know, the things that don’t show up on the stat sheet but are just as important as scoring the goals,” said Francois.
Seton Hall had a disappointing season in 2015-16 and Rudolph vowed that before he left this program he would do everything in his power to leave it in better shape than when he first put the Seton Hall sweater on his back.
“The passion he plays with is unbelievable, you can tell hockey means everything to him,” said Francois.
The team practices two or three days a week but Rudolph pushes himself to get on the ice for to five times a week while balancing school.
“Seton Hall has blessed me with the opportunity to do something I love and I plan to give everything I possibly can to this program,” said Rudolph.
Rudolph is a social and behavioral science major and is minoring in anthropology. He plans to extend his career an extra year at the Hall in hopes of tightening up his skills to better his chances at a professional hockey career.
“I’d like to play hockey in Europe and travel after I graduate —when I come back hopefully I’ll have a better idea of what I want to do,” said Rudolph. When I asked what country in Europe he would like to play as only he could answer, “Wherever the opportunity presents itself I will be there to take it.”