The Merritt Centennials announced today the commitment of forward Tyler Ward to the University of Denver Pioneers for the 2018-19 season.
“Tyler is an exceptional person first and foremost. He was a highly recruited player by NCAA teams and we’re happy he has decided his future in the college system,” said Cents GM and Head Coach Joe Martin.
Ward, 17, is currently on injured reserve and hasn’t played since a game against Penticton on October 21st. Prior to the injury, he had 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 16 games.
“Of course we would love to have Tyler back in our lineup now, but we’ll take him when we get him,” added Martin. “We’re looking forward to the day he skates in our lineup again, his solid play and positive attitude is absolutely infectious.”
The Kamloops native is an alumni of the Thompson Blazers of the BC Major Midget League. He had 27 points (17 goals, 10 assists) in 52 games with the Cents last season en route to being named the team’s rookie of the year and most promising player. In the BCMML in 2014-15, Ward posted 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 40 games. In his final year of bantam in 2013-14, he had 72 points (34 goals, 38 assists) in 56 games with the Kamloops Bantam A1 team.
Ward is the fifth player on this season’s Centennials roster to secure an NCAA scholarship, joining Zach Court (University of Nebraska-Omaha), Cade Gleekel (St. Lawrence University), Zach Metsa (Quinnipiac University), and Michael Regush (Cornell University).
The University of Denver is located in Denver, Colorado, and was founded in 1864. The Pioneers Men’s Hockey Team are tied for second all-time in Division I with seven NCAA championships. Notable alumni includes Glenn Anderson, Kevin Dineen, Paul Stastny, Tyler Bozak, and Centennials all-time great Ed Beers, who captained the Pioneers during the 1980-81 season.