Trey Taylor is back in the BCHL for his third season with the Vernon Vipers and the 18-year-old from Richmond, B.C. is looking to pick up where he left off last year when his Vipers defeated the Wenatchee Wild in Round 1 of the playoffs before the shutdown.
He’s also looking forward to next week’s NHL Draft as he is ranked as the 216th North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.
He gives us his thoughts on the draft, the upcoming BCHL season and much more.
BCHL: The Vipers have a good mix of new talent and returning players from last year’s team. What are your expectations heading into the 2020-21 season?
Taylor: I expect us to be a fast, hard-hitting, skilled team. I think we should be at the top of the league. I have high expectations for us, because I think we’re capable of beating high-end teams. I want teams to think, when they’re coming to play Vernon, it’s going to be a tough night. It’s going to be hard for them to get points. The expectations are high and I think we’re going to have a great year.
BCHL: What are your thoughts on the upcoming NHL Draft?
Taylor: I look at it as a great opportunity. I really hope my name gets called. I think it could be an unreal moment for myself and my family as well as my teammates, coaches and everyone who has helped me along my journey in the game of hockey. Anytime you’re recognized for all your hard work, it’s a great feeling. I have a lot of friends also that are on the watch list. One of my best buddies is on there. He played in Portland – Robbie Fromm-Delorme. Hopefully I get to see him get picked and hopefully I get to see myself get picked too.
BCHL: Your brother Ty is a former standout goalie with the Vipers and is currently at the University of New Hampshire. What kind of relationship do you two have?
Taylor: Me and Ty are really close. I wanted to be a Viper because he wanted to be a Viper. If there’s anything on my mind, I just ask him. I look up to him a lot. Even when I was younger, I would get to go on the ice with his goalie coach and shoot on him. I didn’t have the best shot back then and I don’t know if he was the biggest fan of me out there, but I had the biggest smile on my face and got to shoot on a really good goalie. We get into fights here and there, but when all is said and done, we love each other. We’re always talking and FaceTiming. He’s been a big role model for me and I can’t thank him enough for all he’s done for me.
BCHL: Ty was selected by Tampa Bay at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Has he given you any advice now that it’s potentially your turn?
Taylor: He’s told me not to think about it too much and to just do my thing. Go out there and be a leader in practice everyday and when it comes to game time, be a gamer and be ready to go. He said to just play your best and don’t be focused on it. Just be focused on getting better every single day. Even if you don’t get drafted, it’s about your next game and coming to the rink and being ready to go and being ready to be the best player on the ice as well as a leader for your team.
BCHL: If you were to describe yourself as a player to an NHL team that was interested in selecting you, what would you say?
Taylor: I would describe myself as a two-way defenceman. I’m very good in my own end. I’m a pretty smart player. I can move the puck. I have a good first pass and I’m able to shut top players down on the other team. I can also chip in offensively. I’m a good skater and I have a really good stick. I think that’s one of my best attributes. I’m really good at getting sticks on pucks. If you’re looking for a top-four shutdown defenceman who can chip in offensively, I think you got your guy. I try to model my game after Chris Tanev from the Vancouver Canucks. He’s really good in his own end and helps his team out a lot. He’s a good leader. He plays a really simple game and can chip in offensively.
You can watch Taylor and the rest of the Vipers all year long on HockeyTV. Visit your favourite team’s social media or website for a discount code to get $80 off a yearly subscription.
The BCHL’s 2020 NHL Draft coverage is brought to you by Chevrolet.