Former Vernon Vipers goaltender Tyler Steel is leaving Brown University. Steel attended the Vipers 2008 Spring Camp, 2009 Training Camp & 2010 Training Camp, before being released after playing in a few Exhibition games in 2010. Steel signed shortly after with the Merritt Centennials to start the 2010-11 BCHL regular season.
After three years with the Merritt Centennials the Vernon product committed to Brown University where he has played the past three seasons.
Tyler Steel's Player Profile:
This is posted on Tyler Steels Blog:
Only The Beginning
May 12, 2016
So the news is finally getting around that I have decided to leave Brown next year and not play my senior season of NCAA. I thought I would address my decision before the stories get made up.
Yes, I have decided to leave Brown University, an Ivy League school with an impressive record, to pursue my professional hockey dreams, in one of the lower professional hockey leagues in North America. I know many of you are thinking, “Why?” or “You’re crazy!” And the truth is I might be crazy, but in my mind I would rather try my hand at playing professional hockey than not try at all and in many ways that is what staying at Brown for a final year feels like.
Originally, the thought to leave Brown arose late this season when I hadn’t had much playing time. It had been two seasons of limited starts and a lot of disappointment. Knowing my own potential and the expectations I set for myself, I decided I needed a fresh start if I was going to continue with hockey. The last three years of my hockey career have undeniably been some of the hardest years of my life: facing life in a new country far away from familiarity, a lower body injury, constant mixed signals from my coaches, and what felt to me like disappointment after disappointment, there were many times during the past two seasons when I contemplated not playing the game I love anymore. I thought about moving home to be closer to Hannah, finishing my education, and then starting real life and getting a job. But every time those thoughts came into my head, I could not get over how hard I worked my entire life, putting everything I have into this game. Although the sacrifice is undeniable, I can’t help but believe that there is more and that I am not done. I have had success in the past and I know that I have the potential to still do good things in my hockey career. I know that this is not how it ends.
After months of discussing my options, things sort of just began falling in place. As some of you know, I am a history major here at Brown. Luckily enough for me, I had done a good job at setting myself up to be done with my concentration at the end of this year. That means that I only need a few course credits to be completed in order to be able to graduate with a Brown degree with my class next spring. After a post season meeting with my coach, it was clear that there was a lack of faith in my abilities as a goaltender and that, coupled with the assurance of still receiving my degree, allowed me to officially decided it was time to move on.
Chances are next season I will start off in a lower professional league in North America; however, I believe that it will only be the beginning. I know my abilities and potential and I am so excited to work my ass off where ever I end up next season. Although my end goal is still the NHL and I still dream of lifting a Stanley Cup over my head, I know my journey is going to be long, but it isn’t impossible, and I am ready and excited for the challenge.
The hardest part of leaving Brown is leaving my teammates. Throughout the past three seasons, I have made some amazing and life long friends who undoubtedly will remain in my life. I want to thank all of them for their support throughout all of this and pushing me to be a better player, on the ice and off, and a better, stronger person. I never could have imagined the support I would receive from you guys. I would also like to thank my beautiful fiancé and the rest of my friends and family for being so incredibly supportive throughout this entire process. Without your support, none of this would be possible.
Finally I would like to thank the entire Brown hockey staff and community. I wish more than anything that I could have brought more to this program over the last three seasons and I am moving on with many what ifs and if only’s. It has been an absolute honour to represent such an incredible school and I feel extremely fortunate to have lived in Providence. It is a place that will be remembered through many positive memories like time with the boys and my engagement.
As of right now I have a contract offer in the SPHL in the Southern United States. I am extremely excited to start this new chapter and I will keep everyone updated along the journey. For now, it’s time to work and prepare myself to be the best possible me to start next season.