Tyler Smith is excited about the new opportunity in front of him as a head coach in the Western States Hockey League.
By Brian Lester
Smith will be at the helm of the West Sound Warriors, an expansion team out of Washington state. Smith coached with the Butte Cobras last year.
“Things have been going well,” Smith said. “We’ve stayed busy over the summer and are working on putting together our team. I like the core group of guys we have. We’re looking forward to the season.”
The Warriors will be in their first season in the WSHL. They used to play in the Northern Pacific Hockey League and the United States Premier Hockey League.
The Warriors announced they were suspending operations for the 2017-18 season, and shortly after the announcement was made, the Vancouver Rangers of the WSHL made a deal with the Bremerton Ice Center in Washington that the Rangers would relocate there and take on the Warriors name.
Smith is familiar with the WSHL and will lean on that experience as he leads the Warriors into action in one of the most competitive junior hockey leagues in the nation.
“It’s definitely a bonus for me,” Smith said.
“I know a lot about this league and can tap into the connections I’ve made to get this team ready for the season.”
Smith said his team will feature a mix of older and younger players and his ultimate goal is to develop those players, putting them in a position to land opportunities at a higher level of junior hockey or at the collegiate level as well.
“I want to move as many players as I can to the next level. I’ll do what I can to help them get there,” Smith said.
Smith also wants to see his team compete at a high level.
“We want be competitive and make a run in the playoffs,” Smith said. “We’re looking forward to getting started this season.”
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