It is early July 2012 and while the weather outside is fiery hot, the MasterCard Centre makes many believe winter is still here. A prelude to Canada’s favourite season and pastime is found in the development camp for the Toronto Maple Leafs, which is an annual occurrence that showcases future Leafs competing against each other. One of the names Leafs fans will hear much more often is that of Tyler Biggs. He’s wearing number 62 for this camp and enters as a former 1st round pick of the Toronto franchise back in 2011. Although this trip to Toronto is a special one, the young man from Loveland, Ohio used to call this city home. We’ll start there as we dive into development camp and emerge with an interview from Tyler Biggs.
Q) How you ended up playing AAA hockey in Toronto as a youngster?
“It started with one summer tournament and stayed with my Aunt. I ended up playing with a lot of guys who were headed for the Jr. Canadiens the next year and we ended up doing well in that tournament. It was a great group of guys, so I decided to make the jump over for the exposure because I didn’t think Cincinnati was going to get me to the next level at that time.”
Q) What impressed you with the city? Did you become a Leaf fan because of the surroundings?
“I grew up watching the Leafs with my dad while watching Hockey night in Canada, but what really surprised me was the coverage on Leafs TV and with OHL hockey and all of the hockey on TV….I mean you would have to order channels to watch any of that stuff in the states, so you could tell how much exposure guys were getting. It was awesome.”
Q) You have had the chance to represent your country before (U-17/U-18/USNDTP) and you are headed to the US National Junior Evaluation camp this summer, what is it like when you get to throw on the red, white and blue?
“You really take pride in it. I was fortunate enough to have done it before and I know the group of guys really well from playing with them in years past. I am really excited to see them again. To have another opportunity to represent my country is an extreme honour and I definately want to take advantage of it because you never know how many times it may come along.”