The kid is in his second full season with the Blind River Beavers yet he’s the second-youngest player on the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team.
Tyler Brown won’t turn 18 until September 22 of this year and the 1995 birth year forward, who hails from the farm town of Echo Bay, Ont., just outside Sault Ste. Marie, has time on his side as far as junior hockey eligibility is concerned.
Brown, a seventh-round pick of Soo Greyhounds at the 2011 Ontario Hockey League draft, instead has his sights set on playing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association level.
“I’ve been to two camps with the Greyhounds now and I haven’t signed so I still have my NCAA eligibility,” said Brown on a recent edition of the Hockey North Show on ESPN 1400 Radio.
Well-built at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Brown’s current focus is in Blind River and on the Beavers, who are in sixth place in the seven-team NOJHL with a 9-21-6 6 record.
Despite their lowly standing, the Beavers have more than held their own with the first-place Soo Thunderbirds, winning two of four games thus far this season against their Highway 17 rivals.
“We have shown that we can play with and beat a good team like the Thunderbirds,” said Brown. “If we were more consistent we would be a .500 team.”
Brown has put up good numbers thus far with 13-14-27 totals in 35 games, good enough for fourth on the Beaver scoring chart.
He said he is working hard at improving his overall game.
“My goal is to eventually play Division 1 (NCAA) hockey,” said Brown. “I want to do what it takes to get to that level.”
A Grade 12 student at Central Algoma Secondary School, Brown said he takes his studies seriously, noting that when he is finished playing hockey, he would like to work in the education field.
As for playing in Blind River, a town of 3,400 located about 90 miles east of Sault Ste. Marie, Brown said: “I love it. The fans are amazing and the Beavers are a great organization. I absolutely love Blind River.”
Brown is also a fan of first-year Beavers coach Doug McEwen.
“He’s a players coach and he understands what it is like to be a player. He makes you want to play hard for him,” Brown said of McEwen.