By @StefanKubus –
TRAVERSE CITY – Dominik Shine grew up a Detroit Red Wings fan, as many young hockey players in Michigan do.
This year, he took another step toward his dream of playing for the Wings.
Shine, a 24-year-old Pinckney native, signed with Grand Rapids in March following a four-year collegiate career with Northern Michigan. Wearing the winged wheel for the first time at the Red Wings’ development camp in Traverse City, he’s focused on earning a spot in the Griffins’ lineup in the fall first and foremost.
“It’s the best,” Shine said of wearing a Wings jersey in camp. “I lived in Detroit for the first ten years of my life, so being a Wings fan is something I’ve been excited for, so to be able to put it on, it’s just great.
“I signed in Grand Rapids, so my goal is to make the lineup there and do the best I can for that team. Hopefully it’s up from there, but I just want to play well in Grand Rapids and see what I can do.”
Shine added that he used his time at development camp to not only get acclimated with the organization, but figure out how he can be as effective as possible for the coaching staff.
“It’s just a really good time to get to know the coaches and everyone and try to get used to all the things they like out of their players, like working hard and they focus a lot here on skills, which I really like,” Shine said.
Shine played for the likes of Little Caesars and Compuware in his youth hockey days. After spending four seasons in the USHL with the Lincoln Stars, Shine headed back home to Michigan to play for the Wildcats in Marquette.
Shine posted 97 points in his four-year, 131-game career with NMU. His efforts there earned him a crack at the professional ranks with Grand Rapids, just 404 miles south of Marquette and 114 miles west of his hometown.
He actually got a brief taste of AHL action at the conclusion of his college season in 2016-17, suiting up in eight games for the Griffins and recording three helpers.
Shine hopes to follow in the footsteps of current Red Wings forward and Grand Rapids native Luke Glendening, who played his collegiate hockey at home before he signed on with the Griffins and eventually worked his way up to the Red Wings’ lineup.
“I’ve got to play with energy,” Shine said. “That’s something I’ve always found a knack for, and I think if I can do that at the next level, I might be able to find a role in the third or fourth line, something like that.”