The Soo Greyhounds Hockey Program is extremely pleased to announce that centreman TYLER GAUDET has signed a 3-year entry-level contract with the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes earlier today.
"Our Program could not be more proud to see Tyler sign an NHL Contract today. Tyler's signing with Phoenix today, is an excellent match for all parties involved. Tyler style of play should prove to be an excellent fit for the style of play deployed by the Coyotes” began Greyhounds GM Kyle Dubas.
"This is truly a great story, and it has been terrific to watch it all unfold over the past 11 months since Tyler arrived in Sault Ste. Marie. Like most of the good things that have happened with our Program over the past year, it began by asking Sheldon Keefe a question, and having total trust in the answer that Sheldon gave in return. Sheldon very quickly recommended Tyler Gaudet when it was clear that our team was in need of help at centre last season. Sheldon's belief in Tyler combined with Tyler's work ethic, improvement, and success on and off the ice have combined for an excellent story” continued Dubas.
The 20-year old Hamilton, ON product joined the Hounds as a Free Agent in December of 2012 after being recalled from the CCHL’s Pembroke Lumber Kings. In joining the Hounds, Gaudet was re-united with Hounds Head Coach Sheldon Keefe who coached him the previous year in Pembroke.
“Coaching Tyler over the last three seasons, it’s clear to me that he is most deserving of an NHL contract. He’s never made excuses and never wanted anyone to feel sorry for him. He loves the game and worked every day to get better at it” explained Keefe.
“I am overwhelmed with excitement that I have signed my first NHL contract, especially to a great organization like the Phoenix Coyotes” stated Gaudet.
In 16 games to-date during the 2013-14 season, Gaudet’s 10 goals and 12 assists (22 points), are good for second highest on the Hounds. His impressive +10 rating is tied for team best.
"Tyler came into our team and has shown excellent work ethic and elite fitness levels. Very early in his tenure with us, he showed he could play versus top competition and drive possession in spite of starting the majority of his shifts in the defensive zone. Last year, he did not have great luck as it pertained to shooting percentage and as his luck has turned this season, you see him putting up very solid offensive numbers while still playing versus the top players in our league. To see how far he has come since being picked up from Jr A just 11 months ago, has been one of the best stories I have ever had the privilege to watch up close in hockey” continued Dubas.
The 6.03, 200-lb forward for the Hounds is also excelling in combining his athletics and academics while being enrolled at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie. He is on pace to have 5 credits towards his University over 2 semesters. The goal of the Program is to see all athletes maximize their potential in academically and athletically before graduating from the Greyhounds.
“I want to thank all my family and friends that have supported me my entire life, especially the loving efforts from my mom (Sandi) and dad (Joel). I also want to thank Eric Deegan (family advisor) for his support and constant efforts towards my career even at the hardest of times and Sheldon Keefe for giving me the opportunity and a second chance, and for believing in me as well” concluded the Hounds latest NHL signee.
“I believe this is just the beginning for Tyler” said Keefe.
Gaudet becomes the 6th Greyhounds to sign a National Hockey League contract in the past six months joining Sergey Tolchinsky (Carolina), Darnell Nurse (Edmonton), Matt Murray (Pittsburgh), Colin Miller (Los Angeles) and Brandon Alderson (Philadelphia).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)