Seattle is the next stop for Langley’s Jarret Tyszka.
The 16-year-old inked a Western Hockey League standard player agreement last week.
“I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “I watched a few regular season games and I came down for the playoff practices. It was a very high level of play with good speed on the ice.”
Tyszka was a first round pick (16th overall) of the T-Birds in last May’s WHL bantam draft.
He had thought about going the junior A and college route but decided the WHL offered the best chance to develop.
“Jarret has the potential to be a top player in our league and, with his skills and skating, can contribute offensively and has the size to play solid defence,” said Seattle general manager Russ Farewell, on the team’s website.
“He had a good season and has added both size and strength over the year.
“He will be a fun player to watch develop as a Thunderbird.”
Tyszka played through the ranks of Langley Minor Hockey Association and joined the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford this past year. Prior to that, while playing bantam with Langley, Tyszka was named a first team all-star and the top defenceman at the prestigious Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament in January 2014, joining some notable past winners who know star in the NHL.
“He is a defensive defenceman but has offensive upside,” said Yale coach Brad Bowen.
“He gets up the ice real well.”
Tyszka is six-foot-one and 175 pounds and Bowen says while the d-man is not overly physical right now, he anticipates that becoming part of his game, adding that Tyszka does have a mean streak on the ice.
Tyszka also likes the fact that Seattle is just a few hours from home and offers a good chance to crack the line-up with the graduation of one defenceman, and another — Aldergrove’s Shea Theodore — likely to play pro in the Anaheim Ducks organization.
Tyszka will spend the summer training locally with Impact Hockey.
“Work on getting stronger and getting ready for the speed and trying to make the team,” he said.
If he doesn’t stick with Seattle next season, he will try to land a spot in the BCHL or else return to Yale.