For years the Sunshine Coast has been producing young hockey players and this year is no different, as a promising young prospect, Tyler Graham, joins their ranks.
The 17-year-old is the current captain of the Midget Rep Blues team and has been playing since he was five years old.
Tyler came a cut away from earning a roster spot on the Westshore Wolves of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League this summer and was recently chosen to play in the 37th annual Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association Midget Scholarship tournament, held from Jan. 19 to 24 across Vancouver.
To be eligible for tournament participation players must be a graduating 17-year-old with a C+ average and meet certain sportsmanship requirements. The tournament consists of a four-team single round robin. Players had to first be nominated by a coach, team manager or referee and then make it through two days of rigorous cuts.
Following the championship games, four Vancouver Canucks Alumni Association bursary awards will be presented to the player on each team deemed to have best demonstrated excellence and sportsmanship during the course of the tournament. The winning team will be awarded the Fred "Cyclone" Taylor Memorial Cup.
Tyler's stellar performance on day one of the tryouts earned him a spot on the Greater Vancouver Canucks roster and a free pass through the second day of cuts, but it was his impressive play this season thus far that earned him his nomination. Tyler is a standout player on his highly talented team.
He is a left-handed defenceman who is strong on his skates and smart with the puck. Coaches and teammates describe him as a funny and level-headed guy who is extremely dedicated and focused on the game of hockey.
But Tyler simply says hockey is something he loves. He was eagerly anticipating this week and is excited by the chance to play at a higher level.
If he is awarded a scholarship Tyler would like to use the money to help pay for tuition into a firefighting academy one day, but his immediate dream is to pursue hockey. In the meantime, the tournament promises to be a highlight of his last year of minor hockey and will surely be a great display of skill and sportsmanship.
© Coast Reporter