April 23rd, 2021

Tigers captain sets sights on pro career

By KELLEN TANIGUCHI on March 31, 2021.

NEWS PHOTO RYAN MCCRACKEN Medicine Hat Tigers defenceman Cole Clayton (34) celebrates with teammate Ryan Chyzowski after scoring a goal against the Calgary Hitmen in a Western Hockey League game on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at Co-Op Place.

ktaniguchi@medicinehatnews.com@@kellentaniguchi

In his final year in the Western Hockey League, Medicine Hat Tigers captain Ryan Chyzowski has been filling up the score sheet in hopes of earning a professional contract next season.

“It starts off with the main goal of getting an NHL contract, and if that doesn’t happen, just any pro contract and then I’ll sort out my options and see what’s best for myself in the future,” said the 20-year-old.

Chyzowski has recorded points in all 10 of the Tabbies games this season, notching five goals and 10 assists. Chyzowski has consistently improved his game throughout his career in Medicine Hat – tallying 69 points in 62 games last season.

“I think that’s been my biggest thing over the five years, is just working on my consistency,” he said. “I make it an everyday habit preparing myself to train, practice and do everything like it’s game day. So, when the games come it’s just kind of a habit and every day I just work on getting better.”

Chyzowski and the Tigers have been dominant on the power play this season, too. The captain is tied for first in the league with eight power play assists and he’s also found the back of the net three times on the man advantage. He says the team started working on the man advantage right away this year and the early success shows how much work they’ve put in.

Medicine Hat has a young team this year, and Chyzowski has taken his leadership role in stride. He says the younger players are getting used to the league, learning from their mistakes and figuring out what it takes to win in the WHL.

“I’m just doing my part in that and be the best I can every day and just kind of have them watch me … and just show them the way and show them what I do that makes me successful and what makes the team successful and hope they pick up on that,” he said.

Rookie forward Oren Shtrom says the veteran leadership group has taken him and his fellow younger teammates under its wing.

“All our vets are really great with us. They show us everything we need and they help us with everything, just little tips and tricks,” said Shtrom. “It’s just been an easy transition for all of us with all these older guys.”

As Chyzowski plays out his final season with the Tabbies, he’s already thinking about his future off the ice. He is considering using the WHL Scholarship to pursue a post-secondary education.

“I’ve always enjoyed school and done well in it, so I think it would be a pretty fun avenue to go down and I feel like it’s exciting that you kind of go step into the real world,” he said. “… I’m excited if I end up having to go to school or (play) pro hockey. It’s a big step in becoming independent in my life.”

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