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Interview: Prep Camp Captain & Alumni Tyler Welsh Commits to Yale University

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Photo – www.grizzliesgazette.blogspot.ca

Today I caught up with Tyler Welsh of the Victoria Grizzlies, BCHL to discuss his recent commitment to Yale University. Tyler will be attending camp for his 5th year this summer and also works for us as a group captain. This story is especially dear to me as I’ve seen Tyler grow as a player and person over the last 5 years and we spent a number of afternoons meeting halfway between his hometown of Whistler and mine of Vancouver, in Squamish on Friday afternoons to train when Tyler was about 15 and 16 years old. Brother Nolan, Taylor Derynk, Ryan Grills, Tomas Cankovic, Owen and Mac Hart and a few other occasional Whistler Crew will surely be thinking of all the hours they sacrificed chasing dreams in the game they love as they all celebrate this great achievement for Tyler. I am sure I can speak for all coaches, that when players move on from one level to the next we are all proud to see that growth and development.

While brother Nolan (roommate, teammate, and occasional linemate) made their pregame meal for the 2 of them, Tyler had a chance to fill me in on the process with Yale, his commitment to both school and hockey, and a little advice for younger players.  We appreciate Tyler taking time on game day to share his story with us.

Q: How did this all come about?

A: It all started at Prep Camp actually.  Coach Ryan Donald has been coming for two years and had seen me play.  But I actually never talked to him at camp.  He has since said he wanted me to play in some BCHL games to make sure I could make the jump to Yale.

Q: Where is the process at right now?

A: I still need to be academically accepted by Yale, but we are cautiously optimistic that it will all go well and I will be in Yale in the fall.  It has always been a dream of mine to go to an Ivy League School, so I am pretty excited.  It is nearly every BCHL player’s dream to play college hockey.  This has all happened much more quickly than I could have imagined, but I am sure that our early season team success has played a large role in it and I want to focus on keeping that team success going while I also take care of my Yale application.

Q: You played minor hockey in Whistler where you grew up, then CSSHL in Burnaby, 1 year in Campbell River in the VIJHL, and now in Victoria.  Clearly you’ve had the chance to be distracted from your goal, yet with high academic achievement and level of play, was it tough to stay focused?

A: This is something that I have always wanted.  In Burnaby I took a few grade 12 courses while I was in grade 11 to get ahead, so it made my grade 12 year with the Storm more manageable.  It is tough being in high school as a Junior hockey player because many of your teammates sleep in and make their way to the rink in the afternoon, but meanwhile some of us have already been in school for 4 hours.  But this has been my dream, and I think you do what you need to do to make that happen.

There can’t be many Whistler born hockey players heading off to Yale.  Has it hit you how special this is, and where do you see your future?

I feel very fortunate and am excited for the future.  I don’t know where I will be or what I’ll be doing 5 years from now, but I think I have a few years ahead of me to figure that out.  I know that if I can take advantage of this opportunity, it will set me up well for life after hockey.

Q: Do you have any advice for Nolan or other players a few years behind you?

A: I think it is important to stay focused on your goals and don’t get distracted.  Take care of your academic work because no matter what hockey will end someday and we’ll all need it.

Well said Tyler, and thanks for sharing your experience with our Prep Camp community.  We are proud to have you train and work with us.

Nate Leslie

Dear reader – if you have a special Prep Camp alumni story please contact us, we’d love to share it with our community too.

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