It's been a whirlwind couple of days for Cochrane defenceman Tyrel Bauer. He was named an assistant captain for his Western Hockey League (WHL) club, the Seattle Thunderbirds on Oct. 2.
"Being named an assistant captain is a huge honour," Bauer said. "Being able to represent the Thunderbirds culture and those who have come before is a very humbling experience. To me, it means upholding our team values and defending them, being the best person I can and being a good influence on and off the ice. At the same time, we have a great group of players who are all leaders in their own way and having a letter does not dictate who can show those qualities."
"It's a pretty special feeling knowing the great players who have played for the organization. The list is staggering and something that I hope I can live up too. I did learn a lot from previous leaders such as Nolan Volcan, Noah Philip and Turner Ottenbreit. It's great to have role models to look up too and try to emulate, and I am privileged to have such a great group to do so."
He then was named to the NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch List on Oct. 7, a list that ranks the top-rated draft eligible players for the upcoming NHL Draft in June.
Bauer received a ‘C’ rating from NHL Central Scouting which indicates he is a fourth through sixth round candidate for the 2020 NHL Draft.
The young defenceman is in his second season with the T-Birds and has played three games. Last season he played in 64 games and had two goals and 12 assists for 14 points with 91 penalty minutes. Bauer was selected by the T-Birds in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2017 Bantam Draft.
Bauer and teammate Simon Kubicek are two of 44 players in the WHL and 111 players in the CHL listed by NHL Central Scouting on the Players To Watch List.
The Players To Watch List is Central Scouting’s compilation of top prospects from all the major development leagues throughout North America and Europe. The list is updated throughout the season while scouts travel to evaluate the players live.
"Yeah, being recognized by people affiliated by the NHL is also a pretty special feeling. It's a life-long dream and cool to see happen. At the same time, I try not to get caught up on the rankings and lists and whatnot," Bauer said of his placement. "I just try to improve everyday and show progress throughout the season ... It's (a) long (season) with a lot of ups and downs but also a lot of time for development. I like to stay focused on the moment rather than worry about the future."
"Nobody should ever been satisfied by their game. There are always things to work on to elevate your play every day. I also believe that at the end of the day, if a team wants you, they will pick you no matter what any of the list says. I'm personally working on agility, skating and puck moving and helping apply them in my game. My goal is to improve and maybe the lists will reflect this later on."