Earlier this week, Tyrell Boucher committed to Alaska-Anchorage. The ’99-born defenseman is currently in his first season in the BCHL after spending the last three seasons in the AJHL, playing in his home province.
In 23 games thus far with the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Boucher has a pair of goals and has added 18 assists for 20 points.
NZ: What stood out about Alaska Anchorage in the recruiting process? What made you want to go there?
Boucher: “What stood out to me in the recruiting process was how genuine the coaches were, and how comfortable they made me feel. The coaches made consistent contact with me and truly made me feel like I would be a big part of their program. I haven’t gone a school visit yet, but the pictures and videos that they sent me of the campus and the facilities were unreal. It is also very beautiful up there and I wouldn’t want to play four years of college hockey anywhere else.”
NZ: After spending three years in the AJHL, what has it been like transitioning to the BCHL this year? Do you notice any difference between the leagues?
Boucher: “I think my transition from the AJHL to BCHL has been good. I find the BCHL is more skilled and quicker so it’s crucial to make quick plays and always have a good stick. The top players in the BCHL are some of the best junior players in North America and it’s fun getting to watch and play against them every night.”
NZ: How would you describe your style? What are the strengths to your game?
Boucher: “I think I am a two-way defenseman who skates well and has good vision. I think I always make a good first pass and I can find lanes to the net from the point. I’m not the most physical guy, but I always have a good body position and rarely get beat 1-on-1.”
NZ: On the flip side, what are some areas you’re looking to improve?
Boucher: “I would like to improve on my puck retrievals in the D-zone, being more physical and getting stronger on the puck.”
NZ: Being a Grande Prairie native, and playing so much hockey there from bantams to juniors, must have been a thrill. What was it like playing for your hometown?
Boucher: “I am actually from Nampa, Alberta which is two hours north of Grande Prairie, but I consider Grande Prairie my second home. It was definitely a lot of fun playing in Grande Prairie and playing in front of family every night. Grande Prairie is a great junior city and it was a lot of fun to play there. The fans are always very engaged in the game and averaging over 1000 fans a night made it that much more fun.”
NZ: Did you always know you wanted to play college hockey? Or was the WHL a route you were exploring at one point?
Boucher: “I was a late bloomer, so the WHL was never really an option for me. In midget, I knew I wanted to play Junior A and I knew the next step would be college. So I guess you could say my 18-year-old year is when I knew I wanted to go the college route. I just think you can’t go wrong with playing hockey at the highest level while getting a degree at the same time.”