© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Tyler Bell made his Moose Jaw Warriors debut Friday.
Even after a tough loss, Tyler Bell smiled when asked about his new home.
“When I heard about it I was pretty thrilled actually,” said the 18-year-old defenceman from Regina. “The guys are great and I’ll get to see my family a ton. That always helps a lot.”
Bell made his Warrior debut Friday after being acquired from Kamloops along with 15-year-old prospect Jayden Halbgewachs and a first round pick in exchange for Joel Edmundson and a fourth rounder.
Leaving the No. 2 ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League would normally be a bitter pill to swallow, but Bell is looking forward to being part of what the Warriors are building.
“Coming here, I was very excited. I know they’re a young team, but I think in years to come they’re going to be very good. I’m going to get a lot of opportunities and I’m going to play a ton and that’s what I’m really excited for,” said Bell.
Bell and Warriors winger Tanner Eberle know each other well. The pair are the same age and both hail from Regina.
“Ebs is one of my best friends from home and he says he loves it here,” said Bell. “We played summer hockey together and AAA. He’s a tough player to play against, so I’m glad he’s on my team now.”
Bell was undrafted, but made the Regina Pat Canadians as a 15-year-old. That got him listed by Kamloops and after a second season of midget AAA he made the jump to the WHL.
Warriors head coach Mike Stothers felt Bell made a good first impression.
“He came in and did a really good job. He looked steady,” said Stothers. “That’s a tough situation, the emotions of being traded and then driving to get here just before game time.”
Bell was a plus-one and played a steady performance in his debut. He made a big shot block in the third period on the penalty kill. He nearly set up Eberle for a goal with a great pass at the side of the net, but Eberle wasn’t able to finish off the chance.