Tyler Coulter spent his final week before Brandon Wheat Kings training camp getting away from hockey.
The 18-year-old left winger was up at Riding Mountain National Park playing in the 81st annual Tamarack golf tournament at the Clear Lake Golf Course, along with his mother Chris and father Dale. Tyler qualified for the third flight of junior men’s match play as the third seed, but fell in the championship semifinals.
The Tamarack was a chance to relax one last time before the grind of a new Western Hockey League season begins, but as soon as Coulter’s tournament ended on Thursday, his mind went straight back to the ice.
"It was a great time being up at Clear Lake," he said. "I loved the last week relaxing and taking my mind off of hockey before getting right back at it. I was racing home to skate in one hour (after falling in the semifinals) ... (Wheat Kings head coach/general manager) Kelly (McCrimmon) set it up for us. He knew I played in (the Tamarack), just not that day, but I made it."
Coulter is looking to make a bigger impact with the Wheat Kings in his second season in the WHL. He showed a lot of potential last year by recording four goals and 10 points in one 10-game stretch when he was asked to play a top-six forward role. Coulter finished his rookie season with eight goals and 21 points in 52 games.
While he loved his stint on the top two lines, Coulter admitted moving around to different lines and playing different roles benefited him.
"It was incredible," he said. "It just helped me take such a different look at the game. It was such a different level playing at when you go to different lines. It was probably the best part of my year."
The 6-foot-0, 200-pound Brandonite enters Wheat Kings training camp this week looking to cement a spot as a top-six forward. He’s worked hard in the off-season to make that goal a reality, including playing with other junior and pro players in Brandon’s Wendy’s Summer League with the Division 1 runner-up Joe Beeverz Robins, and is ready for veteran fitness testing this week before the start of Wheat King main camp on Friday.
"I’m looking for a really good season," he said. "I want to make great jumps in the last year and hopefully it works out well this year."
ICINGS: Wheat King rookies register tonight, with rookie camp on-ice sessions beginning Wednesday morning at Westman Place ... Brandon will wrap up training camp with a final intrasquad game on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Westman Place ... The Saskatoon Blades released former Wheat King prospect Dakota Boutin on Monday ... The Swift Current Broncos re-signed head coach/general manager Mark Lamb to a new three-year contract on Monday.