According to media reports, Harrop died in a surfing accident on Saturday, 17 December at the Muriwai Beach in Auckland. He was brought to the shore after getting into difficulty in the water by surf lifesavers but was unable to be revived.
“As someone who embodied all it meant to be a great Ice Black, he leaves behind a legacy of sportsmanship, kindness and determination. Dale’s infectious smile and gregarious personality followed him everywhere he went. He brought his leadership, warm-hearted jokes and sense of community with him,” the New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation said in a statement.
Originally from Christchurch, Harrop first represented New Zealand in 2005 with the men’s U18 national team. He played nine years for the NZIHL’s Canterbury Red Devils during which he made his men’s national team debut in 2008.
After leaving his home club, he played one season in Australia for the Perth Thunder before joining the West Auckland Admirals in 2017 where he has played ever since.
Harrop represented the “Ice Blacks”, as the New Zealander men’s national team is called, in ten IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments at Division II and III levels and won five NZIHL championships.