In honor of a new AHL affiliation, the Weekly One Timer introduces you to one member of the Chicago Wolves organization through five facts about and five quotes from that person.
This week’s edition focuses on #8, Tyler Wong.
1. Tyler Wong went undrafted but signed with the Chicago Wolves this summer as an undrafted free agent. Source: https://thehockeywriters.com/vegas-golden-knights-tyler-wong-roster-spot/
2. He attended the Vegas Golden Knights’ rookie camp and was the first-ever player to score not only a goal in a Golden Knights uniform, but also the first to net a hat-trick. He also earned himself an invite to Vegas’ main camp, but was cut and thus returned to Chicago.
3. Wong comes to Chicago after playing the past five years with the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes. The 21-year-old spent his last two seasons serving as captain and scored the most goals in the WHL for the 2016-17 season (51). SOURCE: https://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=62109
4. He also is coming off back-to-back WHL Humanitarian of the Year awards, 2015-16 and 2016-17. Wong donated $5 of his own money for every goal he scored in the ‘16 season to KidSport Lethbridge and Taber, raising over $6,000 in conjunction with teammates. The following year, he helped raise $13,000 for the same cause. The forward, in the ‘17 season, spearheaded the Hurricanes’ Spread Christmas Cheer program, which included both donations to food banks and visits to senior homes. SOURCE: https://www.lethbridgenewsnow.com/article/557467/wong-takes-whl-humanitarian-year-honour-two-years-running
5. Wong can be found sporting a bolo tie on game days instead of a normal tie, to reflect his roots. Wong, his two brothers and his mother all train and ride horses for reigning competitions. Source: https://www.nhl.com/news/tyler-wong-looks-to-continue-impressing-golden-knights/c-291012472
6. The 5’9” forward is undersized compared to the average AHL player, but he does not let his size get in his way.
“I think that, obviously, I’m me. I don’t wish I was bigger, I don’t wish I was smaller. I’m happy with who I am. I think that being smaller, I’m able to be quicker, able to escape out of the corners better than bigger guys that it’s harder for them in tight areas…”
7. As for where the forward likes to score from?
“For me, I score a lot of goals in front of the net using my quickness there and quick hands.”
8. Earlier this season, Wong was sent down to the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards, where he put up a goal and an assist in six games.
“I hadn’t scored in a while, hadn’t put up some points, and I didn’t have a lot of confidence with the puck. I was forcing plays, getting rid of the puck too quick, wasn’t skating like I usually do. Going down there, Rocky [Thompson] and Wendell [Young] talked to me, they said, ‘We want you to use your skill, we want you to get your confidence back and come back here and try and apply that here.’ I went down there with the purpose of getting that confidence back, getting the feel with the puck. Getting my feet moving and having my head up and making plays. So, I’m trying to do that now and hopefully in the future it’ll keep benefiting me.”
9. While his confidence seems to be back, the forward is still looking to make advancements in other areas of his play.
“The biggest thing for me is just having my head up and knowing what I’m going to do before I get the puck. I think that in junior [hockey] I had more time and space so I’d get the puck, look up, make a play, carry it, or whatever it was. Here, everyone’s bigger and faster. All the systems are – guys perform them to the absolute best so your time and space is minimal. Every time you get the puck you’ve got to know exactly where it’s going, what’s open, and if you have time to make a play. That’s the biggest thing for me is just getting my game up to speed mentally.”
10. The humanitarian is looking to keep up his charitable ways as a member of the Chicago Wolves.
“We’ve done a few things with the Wolves so far. In the second half, I’m going to some schools to do some, ‘Reading with the Wolves’ I think it’s called. For me, it gives me perspective on how blessed I am to be able to be her, to be able to go out and have kids ask for autographs or whatever it is, ask for advice. I’d like to get a few more things going and me and Courtney [Mahoney, Sr. Vice President of Operations], we’re in talks for a few things, so hopefully [we] can get a few more things started. It’s important for us as hockey players to give back and show that we care about our community.”