CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Daniel Colabufo’s only regret about the last four years, is that he only got to do it once. Some advice he thinks the younger him would love to hear.
“I think I would tell him just to enjoy every moment of it. I know everybody says that but truthfully it goes by way to fast. I wish I could slow time down and do it all over again,” said Colabufo.
After his sophomore season, Colabufo went from a West Genesee Wildcat in Camillus to a Northwood Husky in Lake Placid. In the process, Daniel got a new coach instead of his father, Frank, for the first time in his life.
“I played for him for 14 years,” said Colabufo. “He was more of a dad this year but those conversations after the game the coach kinda came out in him a little bit.”
“My dad and my mom, my younger sister and my older brother they actually made almost every weekend. Which is cool. It was really special to see them there. I mean it’s always good when your family’s in the building.”
They all saw him flourish in his new home. In his junior season he played in 68 games scoring 32 goals and dishing 31 assists. As a senior, Colabufo had 20 goals and 26 assists in 46 games. From his junior year to his senior year Northwood lost 17 players, so Colabufo had to grow to be a leader.
“I think I learned a lot about myself and about my team and just kinda how to show my leadership through my actions. Just try to be the hardest worker you can and hopefully those kids will see that and then go from there,” said Colabufo.
It was in his junior season that the Huskies won their first ever state title in the US High School Prep League.
“If you win states, you move on to nationals so it’s the top 16 teams in the whole country. We ended up losing the semifinal three to one so that was tough but the fact that we made it that far was really special,” said Colabufo.
It would be after that junior season that Colabufo made a visit to Holy Cross falling in love with the school and the head coach David Berard.
“What he was describing about the program and the type of player that a holy cross player is, I kinda just saw myself in the game and I saw myself as the person he was describing,” said Colabufo.
But his time to officially become that player won’t be until 2021. Up first, it’s the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Bonnyville Pontiacs where Colabufo will continue to improve. Once again, it was his connection with the head coach, Rick Swan, that was the difference.
“The ability to grow as a player but also as a person. Theres a lot of community emphasis there. It was a really hard decision, but at the same time he kinda made it easy and I know that’s where I want to be and I’ll have the best chance to develop for Holy Cross there,” said Colabufo.
Colabufo is scheduled to leave for Bonnyville in August but due to the pandemic, the United States and Canada border is currently closed.