It was a trade that so far has worked out very well for Tyler Anderson.
Last year, the defenseman registered three goals and eight assists in 48 games with the Kindersley Klippers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, his first season of junior ‘A’ hockey.
He wouldn’t get a second season with the team, however, as he was traded to the West Kelowna Warriors of the British Columbia Hockey League in the summer.
So far, Anderson has greatly benefited from the trade. With a record of 20 wins, 14 losses and two overtime losses, the Warriors currently sit third in the Interior Division.
Although he only has one assist in those 36 games, the defensive stalwart has been making an impact for the Warriors after a shot adjustment period to the new junior ‘A’ league.
“It was tough at first, just because it was a different league with a new team, new friends and just everything was different,” Anderson recalled of the transition from the SJHL to the BCHL. “It’s a faster and better league, and I think I’ve adjusted pretty well so far.”
Anderson also had to undergo a large adjustment off the ice, as he was no longer in a small town. With a population of 4,600 people, Kindersley is a small prairie town, just like his hometown of Niverville, Manitoba.
West Kelowna, however, has a population triple that of Kindersley and Niverville combined. With that said, the change was one Anderson is greatly in favour of.
“I love the Okanagan, I live in Peachland which is right on the water,” he noted. “I get to wake up and see the lake every morning. Kindersley was a good town too, but it was pretty small. Here we’re in West Kelowna which has Kelowna right next to it, there’s Vernon just down the road, and other big cities. You meet a lot of people and it has a big impact.”
After arriving in West Kelowna in August, Anderson immediately fell in love with the region. While he had been to BC before, it was his first time experiencing the Okanagan. He noted the valley is quite beautiful, particularly in winter, as he joked the coldest winter day is like a spring day back in Manitoba.
He also credited his billet family as incredibly helpful in adjusting to life halfway across the continent, as their continuous support of him was a grate factor in helping him settle in.
The trade to B.C. has not only gone well for Anderson off the ice, but also on it. He has nothing but positive things to say about the Warriors organization, particularly the coaching staff, whom he noted have helped him elevate his game.
“Definitely speed for sure,” Anderson described of how he has improved as a hockey player since coming to B.C. “I’ve turned more into a leader for this season I think, I’m a veteran guy and hopefully I’ve helped the young guys mature.”
With one year of junior eligibility remaining, Anderson has his goals set for where he hopes his junior career can take him.
Ideally, he’d love to earn a scholarship to an NCAA school to not only continue playing hockey at a high level, but also to begin working on his post-secondary education. If that doesn’t work out, he would also like to play in the CIS for a school such as the University of Manitoba.
Those goals are still two years down the road, however, and for now Anderson is focusing on one thing; helping the West Kelowna Warriors win as many games as possible.