Thursday, February 22, 2018

Ty Taylor: Top Goalie in BCHL Commits to UNH

Goalie Ty Taylor
2018 UNH Commit
"A tall, athletic, composed netminder." Neutral Zone
"Ty has excellent size and composure in goal. He tracks the puck extremely well and moves minimally to avoid over playing." Pasco Valana, Coach, Elite Goalies Canada
Premiere goaltending doesn't always lead to championships but championships are rarely won without it. From 1997 through 2013, UNH won the Hockey East Regular Season Championship seven times and qualified for the NCAA Tournament every year but two. Over that 17-year stretch, 4 All-American goalies backstopped the Wildcats - Ty Conklin (1999-2001), Mike Ayers (2001-'04), Kevin Regan (2005-'08), and Brian Foster (2007-'10).

As the UNH hockey team closes in on its third consecutive losing season, the search for the ingredients of a championship team continues. With the addition next season of Ty Taylor, the premiere goalie in the British Columbia Hockey League, UNH hopes another key piece of the puzzle will fit into place.

In his second season in the BCHL, the 18-year-old Taylor (DOB: 7/5/1999), has compiled a record of 22-5-3 with the Vernon Vipers. He currently is the #1 BCHL goalie in all key statistical categories. The 6'3", 200 lbs., left-catch goalie currently has a league-best .73 winning percentage. Taylor's 1.83 Goals Against Average and .932 Save Percentage are also tops. His 7 shutouts are 4 more than the second place goalie's. Here are some video highlights from this season:

In Taylor's rookie season last year, he was eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft. His record with Vernon was 13-12-2 with a 2.96 GAA and .908 Save%. In mid-January, 2017, the NHL Central Scouting Service listed Taylor as the #29 North American goalie in their "Midterm Rankings".

Taylor was selected by NHL Central Scouting to represent Team West in the 2017 Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects Game in late January. Taylor played in the final 30 minutes of the game, faced 11 shots on goal, made 9 saves, and earned the win for Team West. There were over 150 NHL, NCAA, and CHL scouts in attendance. Among them were scouts from Neutral Zone** who ranked Taylor as a "B" player and provided this assessment:

"Taylor is a big goalie who covers a lot of net, plays sharp angles and absorbs the puck giving him solid rebound control. He started for Delta (Hockey Academy) last year putting up an impressive .941 SV% and has been able to make a smooth transition to the BCHL where he has a .907 SV% and 3.01 GAA. Here he faced 11 shots and let in 2 of them, neither of which were soft goals. He has good body control and athleticism and did a nice job of holding his posts and never getting out of position. He’s the only goalie here who was ranked in NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Term Rankings where he sits 24th among North American goalies."
Rating - 4 out of 5 Stars. For purposes of comparison, Neutral Zone currently rates Dylan St. Cyr, freshman goalie at Notre Dame and former US National Team Development Program starter, as a 4 star prospect.

** Reprinted by permission of Brendan Collins, Director of Scouting at Neutral Zone.

In the end, Ty Taylor was not selected in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. In fact, no goalie from Canadian Junior A Hockey was drafted.


Ty Taylor is from Richmond, British Columbia, just south of Vancouver. He started playing goalie as a 7-year-old. Early in his development, he worked with goalie coach Pasco Valana, Director of Elite Goalies Canada. Coach Valana has taught many NCAA goalies, including 3 Hobey Baker nominees, as well as numerous NHL goalies. Senior UNH goalie Adam Clark has trained with Valana. Here's a link to a video of Coach Valana working with Taylor when he was 11 years old. I asked Coach Valana to share his assessment of Ty Taylor and he provided the following:
"Ty has worked with me and with Rob Fuchs. Ty has excellent size and composure in goal. Smart goaltender who has always had to work hard at every step of his career. Does not take things for granted. He tracks the puck extremely well and moves minimally to avoid over playing. His next phase for a successful NCAA career and opportunity for the NHL will be the development of a “Personal Game Plan” which addresses a tactical response for each area of the ice and the 10 ways players will attempt to beat him so that he can begin to upgrade his “processor” with the speed of the game."
In the 2015-16 season, Ty Taylor lead the Delta Hockey Academy Prep team to the Canadian Sports School Hockey League Championship. In 18 regular season games, Taylor posted a 15-3-0 record with a .943 save percentage and 1.46 goals against average. Goalie coach Rob Fuchs, who is one of the owners of Proformance Goalie Schools, was Taylor's coach at Delta Academy and has worked with him for the last 5 years.

The last UNH goalie named "Ty" helped the Wildcats advance to the 1999 NCAA National Championship game. In the 1998-99 season, two-time All-American Ty Conklin split goaltending duties with senior Sean Matile. As fate would have it, Ty Taylor's goalie coach the last two seasons with the Vernon Vipers was none other than Sean Matile. Next season, Taylor will be playing for another key player on that 1998-99 team - UNH head coach Mike Souza.


I had an opportunity to interview Ty Taylor, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?

Ty Taylor: Thank you. I chose UNH because I loved the campus and everyone involved in the program are great people. When visiting UNH, I felt that I had a great connection with Brian Foster (UNH goalie coach). I know UNH has a great history with successful goalies. I really enjoyed the classic university campus. I think there is a great opportunity at UNH for me.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs were you considering? Which schools did you visit and which ones made an offer to you?

Ty Taylor: There were many schools I spoke with and considered. I spoke with Boston University, Arizona State and UNH mainly. I was offered scholarships from BU and UNH. I felt UNH was the best fit for me.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for you to enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Taylor: Yes, I will be attending UNH next year, and couldn’t be more excited to go!

Lowry: Did you always play goalie or did you start at a different position and convert to goalie? Why did you decide to be a goaltender?

Taylor: I have been playing goalie since novice and knew that was the position for me. I chose to be a goalie because of Roberto Loungo.

Lowry: At this stage in your development as a goalie, what are the strengths of your game?

Taylor: I feel that I am a good puck handler and make key saves at important times in the game.

Lowry: Over the past two seasons, you've worked with Sean Matile, former standout UNH goalie and current Vernon Vipers goalie coach. What areas for improvement have you been focusing on?

Taylor: Sean has helped me a lot over the past two seasons and he has taught me to be calm in the net and to give my team confidence when I am back there.

Lowry: Last month, the Portland Winterhawks acquired your Western Hockey League playing rights. Do you have any interest in forgoing the NCAA route and playing major junior hockey in Canada?

Taylor: I am set on playing at UNH next season and looking forward to it.

Lowry: What are your academic strengths and interests? Have you thought about what you might major in when you enroll at UNH?

Taylor: I would like to study social work while attending UNH.


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