Photo credit: Dan Hickling
For the second year in a row, the NHL Draft will be held virtually, this time on Jul. 23 and 24. This year, there are nine current, former and future BCHL players that made NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings.
Leading up to the draft, we will be speaking with the prospects to get their thoughts on the process and variety of other subjects.
The BCHL’s 2021 NHL Draft coverage is presented by Chevrolet.
Incoming West Kelowna Warriors defenceman Tyler Rubin is ranked as the 196th North American skater by NHL Central Scouting ahead of the draft this weekend.
The 18-year-old Massachusetts native brings several years of prep school experience from his time spent at Belmont Hill School where he had 23 points in 30 games in his last full season in 2019-20.
Heading into his rookie season in the BCHL, we caught up with him to discuss the draft, the importance of education in his life, his playing style and much more.
BCHL: You’re joining the West Kelowna Warriors as a rookie for the upcoming season. Why did you choose to come out west to the BCHL?
Rubin: It’s one of the best leagues in North America for junior and West Kelowna was a good fit for me and my family, as well as my playing style. I really connected with the coaches. I think I’m going to have a great opportunity to excel out in West Kelowna in the BCHL.
BCHL: For those BCHL fans who have yet to see you play, what type of player are you?
Rubin: I’m a puck-moving defenceman. I like to have the puck on my stick, but I also like passing it a lot and transitioning up ice. I’m a really good skater. Skating is my best asset. If someone comes down the wall, I can angle them and use my feet.
BCHL: What are you expecting from yourself as a rookie in the BCHL?
Rubin: There will be a learning curve or an adjustment period, but I think once I start to get the hang of it, I can be an impact player in the BCHL. I should be able to get there pretty quickly. I think I can excel in West Kelowna. It’s a great fit for me. I really like the coaches and I’ve already met some of my teammates too. For me, coming into the BCHL as a rookie, I’m going to try to make an impact as soon as possible and help us win.
BCHL: I know there’s a connection between West Kelowna and some Boston area players like yourself. What role did that play in your decision to commit to the Warriors?
Rubin: Some of the players I’ve talked to like Connor Joyce and other kids from Boston, everything that they had to say about it was just great. They all loved it there. I talked to some of the other players on the team and some kids that played there a couple years back and everything about the culture, the program and the new ownership really stood out to me compared to other teams.
BCHL: You’re ranked as the 196th North American skater by Central Scouting. What was your reaction when you saw your name on that list?
Rubin: It’s a huge honour to be listed by Central Scouting. It’s something that I worked hard for, but at the end of the day, it’s just a sign to keep working hard and keep going.
BCHL: What would it mean to you and your family if you were selected in the draft?
Rubin: That would mean the world to me and my family. My family has been a big help to me in my whole career and life so far. If I did hear my name, that would obviously be the dthing that every kid dreams of when they’re little. I think that would be one of the biggest moments of my life so far.
BCHL: After your time in the BCHL is up, you’re committed to Princeton University. That’s a school that is well-known for its academics, which leads me to believe education is a priority for you. Where does the importance of education come from for you?
Rubin: Education has always been a big aspect of my life. My dad and my mom have stressed that to me and my brothers for our entire lives. They want us to go as far as we can in sports, but at the end of the day, if that doesn’t work out, I’m going to have the education from Princeton to fall back on and my high-school education too.
BCHL: If you do get drafted or eventually make it to the highest levels, how do you think your game would translate to the pros?
Rubin: With the game moving the way it is today, a lot more of the defencemen you see coming into the NHL are like Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes. In a couple years, that’s the defenceman that everyone is going to want on their team. I can be valuable in that aspect. I also defend very well too. I have a very good stick. I can use my feet very well defensively.