|Born||October 6, 1989 |
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)|
|NHL Draft||26th overall, 2008|
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Junior[edit | edit source]
Tyler began his major junior career in the Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Medicine Hat Tigers in 2005–06, recording 10 points in a 43-game rookie season.
The following season, he became a key contributor to the Tigers' offence with a 26-goal, 50-point campaign. Tyler went on to add 12 points in 20 playoff games as the Tigers defeated the defending WHL champion Vancouver Giants in a seven-game Ed Chynoweth Cup final.
The WHL title earned the Tigers a berth in the 2007 Memorial Cup, hosted by the runner-up Giants, whom they met in the tournament final once more, but fell by a 3–1 score. Tyler contributed a team-high four points in four games, fifth in tournament scoring.
The following season, in 2007–08, Tyler ascended to a team-leading 91 points, fourth in league scoring. During the off-season, he was selected in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft 26th overall by the Buffalo Sabres.
In the 2008–09 season, (his fourth season with the Tigers), he was named WHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 22, 2009, after an eight-point performance in three games.
Tyler followed up his player of the week honours with a six-goal performance on February 27, scoring all his team's goals in a 6–2 win against the Prince Albert Raiders. He was just one goal shy of tying the WHL record of seven goals in a game (held by five different players).
Professional[edit | edit source]
Tyler made his NHL debut on November 14, 2009, against the Philadelphia Flyers. He scored his first NHL goal that game against Flyers' goalie Ray Emery.
He spent most of the 2009-10 season with the Portland Pirates of the AHL. He finished the campaign with 23 goals and 42 assists for 65 points. His 23 goals tied for the AHL lead among rookies.
At the end of the season, Tyler became the second straight Pirates player selected by the AHL's coaches, players and media to receive the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award as the top rookie in the AHL, following teammate Nathan Gerbe.
After centre Tim Connolly was out with an injury, Tyler was called up for the Sabres' final nine regular season games, ending the NHL regular season with nine points in ten games and earning a spot as a consistent starter in the playoffs for the Sabres. He finished the playoffs with a team-best three assists and tied with Jason Pominville with a team-best four points.
During the 2010–11 season, Tyler played all 82 games registering 20 goals and 29 assists while the Sabres clinched the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference. They battled the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals.
Tyler played a key role during this series notching 2 goals and 2 assists including the overtime game-winning goal on Michael Leighton in Game 5. The Sabres were eventually eliminated by the Flyers in Game 7.
The following season, he was placed on injured reserve twice for a lingering ankle sprain that first occurred in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tyler rejoined the Sabres after the 2012 NHL All-Star Game. At this time, the Sabres were ranked last in the Eastern Conference.
In an attempt to shake things up in Buffalo, Coach Lindy Ruff moved Tyler from left wing to centre, his natural position, playing alongside Drew Stafford and rookie Marcus Foligno. Their line caught immediate chemistry leading the Sabres offensively, thriving for a spot in the playoffs.
The Sabres ultimately fell short in their quest for the playoffs, finishing in 9th place. He finished with 15 goals and 19 assists in 48 games.
The following season, while the lock-out lingered on, Tyler (along with his best friend, Jared Spurgeon) signed to play for the SCL Tigers of the National League A in Switzerland.
On June 23, 2014, Tyler (a restricted free agent) signed a five-year, $23 million contract extension with the Sabres. He led the Sabres in goals during the 2013–14 and 2014–15 seasons with 21 and 20, respectively, but the team finished last in the league both seasons.
Tyler missed most of the 2015–16 season with concussion symptoms as a result of two concussions, one from a hit by St. Louis Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and another from a hit by Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin.
Following his eighth season with the Sabres in the 2016–17 season, Tyler was traded by Buffalo along with Marcus Foligno and a third-round pick in 2018 to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Marco Scandella, Jason Pominville and a fourth round pick in 2018 on June 30, 2017.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]
|2004–05||Knights of Columbus Pats||AMHL||36||15||17||32||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||43||3||7||10||10||7||0||0||0||0|
|2006–07||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||71||26||24||50||30||22||8||4||12||6|
|2007–08||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||70||43||48||91||42||5||0||4||4||6|
|2008–09||Medicine Hat Tigers||WHL||61||43||42||85||21||11||8||11||19||10|
International[edit | edit source]
International Play[edit | edit source]
|Competitor for Canada|
|Gold||2015 Czech Republic|
|World Junior Championships|
During his fourth WHL season, Tyler was named to Team Canada for the 2009 World Junior Championships in Ottawa. He helped Canada to a fifth straight gold medal, defeating Sweden in the final.
He played for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championships, where Canada won the gold medal for the first time since 2007 with a perfect 10-0 record; in the gold medal game, he scored the winning goal in Canada's 6-1 win over Russia.
Accolades[edit | edit source]
- Won the Ed Chynoweth Cup with the Medicine Hat Tigers in 2007.
- Won the Brad Hornung Trophy (WHL's most sportsmanlike player) in 2008 and 2009.
- Won a World Junior gold medal with Team Canada in 2009.
- Named WHL Player of the Week on February 23, 2009.
- Won the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award in the AHL, for best rookie in 2009–10 season.
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Tyler and his boyhood best friend & new Wild teammmate (after the June 2017 trade) Jared Spurgeon were born less than two months apart and grew up in the same Edmonton, Alberta, Canada neighbourhood, playing on the same teams, often with their fathers coaching & spending summers at the Spurgeon family's lake cabin.