Prince George Cougars goaltender Tyler Brennan joined Junior Hockey Magazine to discuss the upcoming NHL Draft, the opportunity to showcase himself at the 2022 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and his playing style between the pipes:
Junior Hockey Magazine: How does it sound to be introduced as the No. 1 rated goaltending prospect ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft?
Tyler Brennan: It’s always nice. It gives you a bit of a confidence boost, but you always have to keep working to maintain that status. My mindset is to keep working and keep going.
JHM: How much time do you spend paying attention to what people are saying?
TB: I don’t pay attention too much. If it comes across my social media, I take a look at it, but I don’t really go out of my way to look at it. I try not to let it distract me in any way. I am just here to play, to improve, and to be the best I can.
JHM: Getting drafted into the NHL as a goaltender is a major accomplishment. How significant is it to you that NHL scouts are taking your game very seriously?
TB: It’s definitely a dream come true to be drafted. It is kind of weird to know that I am only 18 years old and that this is the biggest step in my life. It is pretty interesting to be talking to NHL teams. It has been a goal of mine since I started watching and playing hockey. It is really cool and I am really excited for the next couple of months leading up to the draft, draft day, and then the years to come.
JHM: How important is the 2022 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game for you?
TB: Last year there wasn’t a whole lot of games to be played, but I am making the most of this year. That game will be really important. It is going to be awesome for my development as well to face some shooters I have never faced before and to get some good improvement from that. I am going to be able to put myself out there a little more in that game so I am really excited for that.
JHM: How special was it to be part of a CHL on TSN game earlier this season?
TB: It was really cool to know that I was on national television playing that game. I think it brought a whole different feel to the game for the whole team. It was good that we stepped up and it was a big win for us. It’s really nice having a lot of people watch you on national television including friends and family across the country and people I haven’t seen in a long time. I was getting texts after the game and it was a really cool experience.
JHM: Give us a scouting report on your game.
TB: I am a pretty big goalie. I am very positional. Those are some of the things that I love about my game. I am in the right position at the right time. At the same time, I am pretty quick, so I can get to those positions pretty fast. I compete really hard on every puck. Positioning is huge for me so I get to the right spot at the right time. I am not scrambling. I am very calm in the crease. I have been working on my puck playing a lot, so I think I am pretty strong in that part of the game.
JHM: What led to your playing style and why is it so important in your game?
TB: I think it is important because you don’t want to be scrambling to the point where you are out of position and giving up a lot of the net. For me, it is about getting to the right spot, filling the net, and stopping the puck. I have played like that my whole life, starting when I was a kid and being in the right spot. It clicked in my mind because I was so big growing up. I was massive compared to my teammates and other goalies, so in my mind it was if I can get to the right spot and fill up the net then no one will have anything to shoot at.
JHM: What is it like to share the NHL Draft year experience with your Cougars teammates?
TB: It is really cool to share that experience with multiple teammates. We have had conversations about what to expect and how it is going. You’re not alone. You have some teammates to talk to about it. Hudson Thornton, who I live with, is also ranked and he has talked to a lot of teams. I think it is cool that we can bond and talk to each other over it.