Former Swift Current Bronco Tyler Wright goes into the Hall of Fame June 24th along with his friend Andy Schneider.
Now the Director of Player Development for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Wright spend four seasons with the Broncos from 1989-1993.
Hailing from Canora, SK, Wright was the highest Swift Current Bronco ever drafted into the NHL, 12th overall in the 1st Round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers. Wright accumulated 115 goals and 157 assists in 233 WHL career games. Wright also played a key role in the Broncos trip to the Memorial Cup in 1993 with 9 goals and 17 assists in 17 playoff games.
I recently contacted Tyler to get his thoughts on being inducted into the Broncos Hall of Fame and to share some memories.
JK: Tyler, you find yourself less than two weeks from being inducted into the Broncos Hall of Fame along with Andy. What does that mean to you?
Tyler: You know, it puts your career and your life in perspective on where you're at but very honored in the same breath. I hold the Swift Current Broncos in the highest regards. I give them a lot of credit to the development of me as a person and as a player. To go into the Hall of Fame along with Andy it's something very special for me and my family.
JK: That 92/93 WHL Championship Team was something special wasn't it...
Tyler: You know it really was, (laughs), I started in Edmonton that year, played with the Oilers till around Christmas. I went to the World Juniors. I came back and I was the 3rd line center on my junior team. That's how good we were, and that's the skill set that we had.
JK: You're the highest ever drafted player in Bronco history, 12th overall to the Oilers in 1991. Now, you see things on the other side in your current job with the Blue Jackets. Any past experience you can pass on?
Tyler: You know, when you're 18 years old and you're drafted in the first round you think life is going to be pretty easy and it's quite the contrary to that. There's a lot of ups and downs and a lot of learning an a lot of growing up and maturing. You're a pretty confident kid at the time and things get put in perspective pretty good and it depends on how you handle them.
JK: You were a guy who is a great story as you came up through the ranks. Tell me about your start with the Broncos.
Tyler: It was a dream come true. I was a 15 year-old who wasn't listed by anybody. My uncle was Ken Donaldson who lived in Swift Current. He went to the Broncos to tell them he had a nephew that's not too bad. It was kind of one of those scenarios where everybody has that nephew is pretty good they think. So I was behind the 8-ball my whole career. I was just very fortunate that Swift Current gave me the opportunity.
JK: Your travels with Columbus brought you back into Swift Current late in the season. There's kind of a funny story that goes with that too....
Tyler: I was in watching Jesse Dudas (Columbus draft pick), and it was great. They renovated the arena and the playoff push they had was excellent. I really got to know Dean Chynoweth this year. I can't say enough about him. He's not only a quality person but a great coach and hockey mind. The Swift Current Broncos are in good hands with him I really think he's a true genuine guy and I think that's really hard to find.
JK: What about the story of being introduced over the P.A. system in the rink against Calgary in the playoffs...
Tyler: (laughs) I was trying to sneak into the building. Jesse Dudas didn't know I was coming to that one and I'm trying to keep an eye on these kids and do reports. Their games obviously change a little when they know their NHL team is in the building to watch them. I guess word spread through that I made the trek into Swift Current and they introduced me (over the P.A) so my cover was blown! I don't think I actually watched much hockey after that because I spent the rest of the night talking with a bunch of old friends and fans.
JK: Less than two weeks 'till the Hall of Fame....
Tyler: Well I'm really excited to this Hall of Fame. I'm excited to bring my kids down there. I have a seven year old son that has no clue where I played junior hockey. He was born in the U.S. It's good to get them back there to show them where I started out and where I have such fond memories of.
It's going to be a pretty emotional night. I'm an emotional guy and always have been. This is an organization that takes a lot of pride in events like this. It's an organization that has been through a lot of hardships the last couple of decades. I'll be very honored to have my dad, my grand-father, my family, my kids and my wife's family to all be there. It's going to be an emotional time but something I'm extremely looking forward too.
It's been raining here almost non-stop for almost a week. It's something we need in the area so no one is really complaining. It's been tough on the local sportscene. I would venture to guess the next Indians game tomorrow night could be in jeopardy. The game is also on the Eagle 94.1 FM.
Here's a list of our broadcasts this season. Join Ryan Switzer and Chris Martens for the play-by-play all summer long.
June 7th in Regina 6:45 pre-game
June 12th home to Okotoks 6:50 start.
June 16th in Medicine Hat 6:45
June 20th in Saskatoon 6:45
June 21st in Moose Jaw 6:45
June 26th home to Lethbridge 6:50
July 11th in Moose Jaw 6:45
July 12th in Saskatoon 6:45
July 15th in Okotoks 6:45
July 24th in Lethbridge 6:45
July 26th Home to Okotoks 6:50
July 28th home to Sherwood Park 6:50