Having all the right resources as a young player can make all difference in the world between achieving success and living up to one’s potential.
Tyler Biggs has been surrounded by important hockey resources his entire hockey career having played the last two seasons in the US National Development Program as well as having a former professional hockey player coach him throughout his minor hockey career. Don Biggs, a minor league hockey legend in Tyler’s hometown of Cincinnati, has been crucial to his son’s success and continues to be as the 2011 NHL Entry Draft nears.
The six-foot-two forward will continue to be surrounded by tremendous hockey resources as he begins his freshman year for the Miami University RedHawks (Ohio), a program that has produced the likes of this year’s Hobey Baker Award winner Andy Miele and Stanley Cup winners Dan Boyle and Kevyn Adams.
Biggs had a roller coaster year playing for the NTDP and finds himself ranked 22nd in Future Considerations’ Final Draft Rankings. He matched his point total last season with 11 points in 20 games this season after splitting time between both U17 and U18 teams last year. Despite a disappointing performance at U18 World Championship in which Future Considerations’ scouting director Dan Stewart believed was “invisible for the majority of the tournament,” Biggs earned an invitation to USA Hockey’s Junior Evaluation Camp in August.
Biggs talked to Future Considerations about his combine preparation, his invitation to the USA Junior Evaluation Camp in August, and Miami of Ohio hockey.
A lot of draft boards had you falling as the year went on. Did you put any extra pressure on yourself to do well over in Germany at the U18 World Championships from not just helping your team win but to maybe propelling yourself back up near the top of draft boards?
Throughout the year I never looked any rankings or heard anything as to me dropping. Throughout the year and over in Germany I was just focused on my game and what we had ahead of us. Going into the tournament my sole focus was to win and that was it.
USA Hockey announced their list of 40 players that had accepted invitations to the Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. in preparation for the 2012 World Junior Championship. With your name being one of the 26 forwards are you sticking to your normal summer training routine or stepping it up a bit?
Yeah, as far as getting ready for the camp I’m obviously going to want to skate more and get into more game shape if any of that has worn off since the end of the year. I definitely want to push myself more when I’m on the ice between now and the camp, but I’m still training and still work on everything I planned on doing [before I received the invitation].
You and your teammates all seemed to have very impressive combine results on the physical testing. Was this something that the program really focused on with the draft eligible players after the U18s and before school got out?
No, I really don’t think so. We were trying to prepare for the combine a little bit, but in the short amount of time we had we went through our normal routines of working out and throwing in a little extra as far as things we could work on at the gym that is part of the combine itself. I really like to work out by myself so I really didn’t have the strength and conditioning coaches work with me up there. When I went home I had my trainer that I work out with help me run through some of the combine drills a little bit.
Your dad was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars and has some NHL experience. Today he coaches a junior team in your hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. How big of an influence has he been since you left to play in Ann Arbor, Mich. for the NDTP?
He was my coach for most of my hockey career and with him playing [professionally] I wanted to be him growing up. He’s been great with me throughout hockey so far and I couldn’t ask for a better influence. I’m really glad to have him helping me out for so long with my hockey career.
Your dad also went the Major Junior route and played for the Oshawa Generals, the same team that selected you in the 2nd round of the 2009 Priority Selection Draft. Any chance you play for the Generals next season or anytime during the future?
I committed to Miami so that’s where my heart is at right now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
What about Miami stuck out to you and made you want to go the college route and stay close to home and play next season?
They’re a team that’s headed in the right direction and they make that pretty obvious throughout the hockey world. I have had a great relationship with the coaching staff right off the bat and it was something that was really important to me. For me as a player, I thought it was a style of play that I could fit into. The fact that it is only forty minutes from my house is another plus so my family and friends come see me next year is great.
Andrew Weiss is a draft correspondent at Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!