Ducks Prospect Tyson Hinds Looking To Build Upon Strong WJC
Tyson Hinds is calm, cool and collected. The Anaheim Ducks‘ 2021 third-round pick showed just how poised he can be during Team Canada’s game against Slovakia in the 2023 World Juniors when he gloved down a rebound attempt from Adam Sykora after goaltender Thomas Milic made a terrific scorpion save. The score at the time was 3-3, and that moment proved pivotal as they eventually won in overtime to advance to the semifinal.
Canada, of course, was the gold medal winner after defeating Czechia 3-2 in overtime. Hinds played a key role en route to the Gold Medal game, acting as the more defensively-minded partner to both Brandt Clarke and Kevin Korchinski. He also had fellow Ducks prospects Olen Zellweger and Nathan Gaucher on the team with him. Gaucher won gold at the 2022 World Juniors as part of last year’s team with Mason McTavish.
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“It was awesome,” said Hinds in a phone call. “They’re both great guys and good teammates and they’re good hockey players. I already knew them before Team Canada so it was just a great experience and it was pretty fun with both of these guys.”
Motivation and Confidence From Anaheim’s Front Office
The trio spent this past summer and fall in Irvine, California, taking part in the Ducks’ development and rookie camps, as well as, the annual rookie tournament. It was the second consecutive camp for Hinds, who concluded the rookie camp by signing his entry-level contract.
“I spoke to (general manager Pat Verbeek) when I signed and (at) my exit meeting, he was happy and he thought I had a great camp and a great rookie camp (and) tournament too. I wasn’t trying to think about (the contract) all the time, just (trying) to play my game, and eventually, good things happened.”
It was during Hinds’ exit meeting that Ducks brass told him that his next goal should be to make the World Juniors roster (from, ‘Hinds réalise enfin tout le potentiel qui l’habite’, Le Droit, 12/21/22). He entered camp as the seventh defenseman but impressed enough to stick and saw his ice time increase with every passing game.
The Gatineau, Quebec native is also the first player from his city to win gold at World Juniors since Daniel Briere in 1997.
“Yeah that’s huge,” said Hinds. I didn’t know this before, someone told me midway through the tournament. It’s nice. I have that feeling that my hometown is right beside me and giving me positive thoughts.”
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After returning to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), where Hinds currently plies his trade with the Sherbrooke Phoenix, he and several members of the gold-winning team––along with Phoenix head coach and general manager Stéphane Julien, who was an assistant coach for Canada––were honored on Jan. 17 at the Bell Centre before the Montreal Canadiens game against the Winnipeg Jets.
For Hinds, it was a sentimental moment as he grew up watching the Canadiens. “It’s crazy. I grew up watching the Montreal Canadiens with my family. It’s something so little of them but it’s so big for us. I’m just so grateful for it. When I was younger (my favorite player) was P.K. Subban. Growing up, I was watching him and he was a player who brought a lot of energy, so it was fun to watch him.”
Hinds Finding His Stride With Sherbrooke
With the Phoenix, Hinds is now on his third team since beginning his junior career after being traded from Rimouski-Océanic in January 2022. He is currently eighth in points among QMJHL defensemen this season in 12 fewer games than the top-scoring defenseman. While defense is always the priority, he doesn’t shy away from chipping in offensively. He is now also one of the club’s alternate captains. “I push myself and try to push my teammates to keep on getting better every day and I’m very positive with the guys. I think (being a leader) comes naturally to me.”
I think it’s just confidence,” said Hinds on how he’s improved over the course of his juniors career. “I keep on progressing each year (with) my skating ability, my shot (and) my vision. I’m pretty calm with the puck. With each year I feel I keep getting better and better and I think that’s the way I want to work and to finally maybe play in the NHL eventually.”
Hinds was selected 76th overall in the 2021 Draft. 76, the same jersey number that his favorite player growing up once wore. While the two may be polar opposites––one a swashbuckling comedian with an eccentric personality and the other a stoic, shy individual––the goal was and is still the same for both of them. Make it to the NHL and stay there.
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Derek Lee is a contributor for The Hockey Writers covering the Anaheim Ducks. Derek has spent nearly two decades immersed in the world of sports and has been writing about sports for five years. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sports Communication in May 2020 from UCCS in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he also spent two and a half years on staff with their on-campus student newspaper–both as a sports reporter and editor. In his free time, he enjoys playing FIFA, curating his Spotify playlists and attending concerts & sporting events