Merritt BC – The Merritt Centennials organization is extremely proud and excited to announce that Captain Tyrell Buckley (‘97) has committed to play for the Michigan Tech Huskies in the WCHA, NCAA Division 1 hockey.
Buckley, who’s from Penticton has been with the Centennials since the 2014-15 season after playing the season before with the Okanagan Hockey Academy. In his rookie BCHL year he played 50 games while putting up six assists and earning himself 20 penalty minutes. The following season Buckley played 50 games as well, earning himself one goal and 11 assists along with 26 penalty minutes. Last season Buckley played a huge role in the playoffs playing all nine games and scoring a huge season saving goal against the Penticton Vees in round two, game six in overtime to force a seventh game. In the regular season Tyrell played 56 games scoring two goals and earning 16 assists, he also wore the ‘A’ on his jersey last season for the Centennials.
“I’m really excited and proud to join Michigan Tech’’ said Tyrell Buckley, ‘‘I can’t wait to be a part of a tradition and culture that is there.’’ added Buckley, ‘‘everything that the university offers is outstanding and I’m looking forward to continue my hockey career there.’’
This season Buckley has played 54 games so far scoring 11 goals and getting himself 26 assists while having 74 penalty minutes. He has played a major role in the Centennials this season and earned himself the ‘C’.
Head coach and General Manager Joe Martin added ‘’Great to see Tyrell getting this well-deserved opportunity, he’s had a great career so far in Merritt; over 220 games played. Martin also added ‘’this stat alone just shows you the dedication he has to the game.’’
‘’Bucks is extremely deserving of his commitment. He works extremely hard and leads by example” said assistant coach Brandon Shaw “He has stepped up his play throughout the year and is a constant leader for us. He’s a great competitor night in and night out, playing against other teams best players’’ added Shaw ‘’I believe he will have continued success in his hockey career due to his character and work ethic and we wish him the best in his future at Michigan Tech.’’ finished Shaw.
Assistant General Manager and assistant coach Matt Samson also added ”We’re very proud of him and seen him progress over three seasons and become a dominant defenseman.” Samson also said ”He is a player that has worked really worked hard on and off the ice and great to see him rewarded with this.”
Former Centennials that are playing for the Huskies in this season are NHL Draft (Pittsburgh Penguins) Dane Birks, Devin Kero and Gavin Gould.
Buckley is the sixth player on the Centennials to secure a NCAA Division 1 Hockey scholarship.
PHOTO: Garrett James