One of the best prospects to come from Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey in recent years is joining his hometown junior team.
The Ridge Meadows Flames have announced that Tyson Phare, a first-round pick in the Western Hockey League, has made a commitment to the local Junior B squad.
Phare was drafted into the WHL 18th overall by the Prince George Cougars in 2017. He was coming off a great season with Abbotsford’s Yale Hockey Academy, where he had put up 18 goals and 40 points in 28 games for the under-16 team. He lit it up as a Ridge Meadows Rustler as well, scoring 29 goals and 46 points in 33 games with the Bantam A1 team in the 2015 season. He played in the Pacific Junior Hockey League as an affiliate player with the Flames.
Phare has practiced with his hometown team since being acquired, and Flames GM Derek Bedard said it’s easy to see why he is considered a promising hockey player, as a big body who can skate and rip the puck. Phare is listed at 6’2” and 195 pounds.
“You can see why he was drafted where he was,” said Bedard. “He should be pretty impactful in our league. The stars aligned, and we’re happy to have him.”
He suffered through injuries in the early part of his WHL career. The played 16 games with the Prince George Cougars, then another 12 last season between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Everett Silvertips. He didn’t put up points, but Bedard noted he was converted to a defenceman.
Bedard said the local boy fits seamlessly into the roster. He knows half the team, having played with them in Maple Ridge or at Yale. And it is easy to find a spot for him to play, because he isn’t married to his natural right wing.
“He’s a jack of all trades. He can play wing, he can play centre or he can play defence – anywhere but goal,” said Bedard.
The Flames had a roster spot open up, as Kenyon Nyman left the team for Junior A hockey in Ontario.
Nyman, 18 and from Maple Ridge, is a defensive defenceman. He put up four points in 43 games with the Flames. He will play with the Red Lake Miners of the Superior International Junior Hockey League.
“That’s what we want. Players can use us as a springboard to the next level,” said Bedard.
The Flames have postponed games due to new COVID-19 restrictions. They are able to practice. An announcement will be made this week on restrictions, but the GM is not expecting a return to competition yet, he said.
“We’re doing everything we can to be as safe as we can, and give these guys a chance to play this year.”