SYLVANIA, Ohio —

Patrick Smyth is a Toledo native and skilled hockey player. He attended St. John's Jesuit High School and Academy for three years before moving to Illinois to pursue his dream of playing professional hockey.

As he works towards his goal, he spent last season playing in the United States Hockey League out in Dubuque, Iowa for the Fighting Saints.

His career in the USHL was short lived — he finished the season with three goals and six assists; Now, he's ready to take the next step. He will play college hockey at the US military academy at West Point. 

Smyth is currently working out in Sylvania with former Toledo Storm Player Nick Parillo through his hockey player development sessions. He will not be around his hometown for long, as he leaves at the end of the month for basic training at West Point.

The transition to West Point can be difficult for some but Smyth believes playing sports his entire life will help him as he makes his transition to the military.

“Growing up, I have always been playing competitive sports,” he told Jordan Strack. “The don’t quit mentality, the teamwork piece … athletes make the best soldiers. I think that I will have a lot to contribute to the cause.

The life of an athlete at West Point is a grind. His days are pre-planned and time management is key.

“You go into class at eight [in the morning] and you leave at three [in the afternoon]. Then, at three … I think until five or six [in the evening] is when I have time for practice and for hockey,” he said. “They told me from eight – three, you’re a cadet, and from three-on, you’re a hockey player.”

Right now, we're in the midst of a boom for hockey talent here in northwest Ohio. There's a huge chunk of young players that are playing at high levels. Smyth is just the latest to join that group.

“It is great to see. Like this year, I played three-four guys from Toledo,” he said. “It’s awesome to see them skating around the same ice as you at such a high level. I think Nick and the guys are doing a great job of really fostering that and it only continues to grow. I love it.”