The Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) is pleased to congratulate Varsity Red defenceman Tyrell Buckley on committing to the Merritt Centennials of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) or the 2014-15 season.
Buckley had 22 points (4-18-22) in 29 Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) games last season, as well as one assist in two post-season contests, helping OHA Red capture the Varsity Division Championship, while also earning himself the CSSHL’s Varsity Division Top Defenceman Award.
“He does a lot of things very well,” said Robert Dirk, head coach of the OHA Varsity Red team. “His skating and mobility is very good and he sees the ice very well. He makes good decisions with the puck and is solid defensively. Every coach is looking for that type of defenceman that can skate, move the puck and is solid defensively.”
Buckley, a Penticton, BC product, made big strides this past season at OHA, most notably in terms of poise.
“He was very good to start with,” said Dirk. “But as the season progressed he became every confident in what he can do and made huge strides in the sense that he could control a game from the backend just because of his confidence. He had the skills, but when a player starts believing in himself and what he can do, that’s when they start making huge strides.”
Buckley will now join a Centennials team that finished the 2013-14 season with a 31-22-4-1 record, good for eighth overall in the BCHL.
“We are very excited to have Tyrell join our organization,” said Luke Pierce, Centennials head coach and general manager. "He is exactly the type of person and player that we value here in Merritt. His game is fundamentally very strong and we see huge potential in his development at this level. His hockey intelligence is very high for a player his age, and matched with his already strong skill set we see him becoming an elite player in our league over time. Tyrell is a dedicated and intelligent young man with a very bright future and we are delighted to have the opportunity to further his growth as a player and person.”
Playing at OHA was great. I had great billet families and made great relationships with people I still keep in touch with. It was a really good learning experience for me being away from home playing hockey, which set me up to go play junior.