Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Q&A With Tyler Bunz

PuckCentral: Your WHL career has ended, so how do you think it went for you? Especially this last season. Would you say overall it was a success?
Tyler Bunz: My experience during my career in the WHL was amazing. The people I met, the coaches I played for, the teammates I played with were all great people and if it weren't for them I don't think my time in the WHL would have been as much fun as it was. My first year and a half were very inconsistent on the ice, but after the Christmas break during my 17 year old season I felt myself become more confident and start playing more consistent. The Medicine Hat Tiger organization was nothing but good to me, and gave me every opportunity to succeed. From being drafted at 14 years old as the first goaltender in Medicine Hat Tiger history to be drafted in the first round, they put all their trust into me to lead the team to wins. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be where I'm at today. I believe my career was a success. From being drafted into the NHL, attending the Canadian World Junior camp, signing a pro contract and setting records in the franchise, I feel happy with the way my junior career went.

PC: How has your experience in Medicine Hat help you grow as a player and a person?
TB: It challenged me to grow up faster then most kids do at a young age. Moving from home at age 16 to chase my dream of being an NHL goalie was not easy at first. You obviously miss your family and friends, but its the sacrifices you have to make. My billet family made it real easy to adjust. Bill and Sandy Standish are great people, and made my time in Medicine Hat more enjoyable as I had a caring couple take me into their home. Over the years you do mature as a player and person, and it not only made me feel good, but my family noticed as well as too how much I matured.

PC:Your professional career has started, how's that been so far, and what's been the biggest difference between the pro's and Junior?
TB: The speed of the game is the biggest difference. Not only are the games faster, but practices as well. The guys are a lot older then in junior and can skate and shoot faster then what I've seen for the past 4 years. But being in Oklahoma City for the past week and a bit, it's been a great experience. The weather, culture and people here are great. The guys on the team are awesome guys and have made me feel very welcome over my stay. They won their first playoff series in franchise history last night, so it was pretty cool to be there and be apart of it.

PC: Obviously it must have been tough to be cut from Team Canada and you handled it with a lot of class ,do you feel it has made you a better,or stronger player?
TB: Yes definitely. In my mind there was two ways I could of handled it. 1) Take it the hard way, give up and pout about it or 2) take it as a learning experience, grow from it and know there's things to be worked on in my game. I did choice 2. The only person I can blame for not making the team is me. I didn't perform as well as I should of in tryouts and I was the first to admit that. So I knew there was things to work on in my game and I went back to Medicine Hat that day, played that night and played one of my better games. It wasn't easy, but I wasn't going to dwell on being cut. My team needed me to be at my best and lead them to a win. The next few months I put being cut to the back of my mind and just played hockey. I love this game, I wouldn't jeopardize becoming less interested in the game because of one setback. It made me compete and play harder.

PC: You were drafted by the Edmonton Oilers,how special was it being drafted to a team in your home province of Alberta?
TB: It was amazing. To this day I can't describe the feeling I still have. I grew up watching them my whole life and being from St. Albert it was truly a dream come true.

PC: You're most likely a few years away from the NHL, but do you feel confident in the Edmonton organization? There's a lot of good goalies in the organization, but you're arguably one of the best.
TB: I just take it one day at a time. Every time I'm on the ice I try to improve. What happens in my career is up to me, so I can only focus on improving my game and hopefully impress the right people in the Oiler organization.

PC: What part of your game do you take the most pride in?
TB: Playing the puck. I love to be engaged in the game and every little play I make helps you stay focused. So by me going out and playing the puck and making smart plays, it not only makes the game easier for my defense men, but also keeps me focused and in the moment during the game. I finished with 13 points, I believe, in my 4 years and I take a lot of pride in that.

PC: We ask this to everyone. Is there anyone you try to model your game after or do you just try and be "Tyler Bunz"?
TB: Both, it's good to have someone to model your game after. But ultimately it's you who is in net. I look at Marc Andre Fleury a lot during video, as we both play somewhat similar styles of play. Also, with watching Brayden Holtby in playoffs with the Capitals, I've noticed we play alike as well. But when it comes down to it, I'm the one in control of myself so I take what I've been taught and try to apply it game situations as best I can, and hopefully good results come from it.

If you're on twitter give Tyler a follow at: @TylerBunz. Please give us a follow at: @PuckCentralHQ

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