SASKATOON — Tyler Parr is in his second season with the Saskatoon Blades, but it looks like he has been around for much longer.
“He’s almost like a 19-year-old,” Blades assistant coach Wacey Rabbit said of the 17-year-old Parr. “We have a lot of leaders on our team, but he would kind of be a guy that you’d look at him and you think he’s an older guy in the league. He’s got a mature game. … Getting to work with him every day with the forwards, you can see he is a very mature young man and a very driven young man.”
Parr has had a strong start to his second season. As of Wednesday, he was one point away from equaling his production in his rookie campaign. The 5-foot-11, 181-pound forward had 10 points through 22 games this season. In 2021-2022, Parr posted 11 in 58 contests.
The La Salle, Man. product said the games he played last season have helped him feel more comfortable on the ice this time around. Parr called his rookie campaign “an adjustment year” as he moved from playing with the U18 AAA Pembina Valley Hawks to the major junior level. Of adjusting to the WHL game, he said:
“It’s just faster. Guys are bigger, stronger. It’s still hockey. You’re still playing the same game, but you just kind of got to adjust to the pace. You don’t change your game at all, you just got to work harder and adjust to it.”
Parr has already equaled the three goals he scored last season. He has lit the lamp at important times this campaign. Parr’s first goal of the year came in the final second of overtime to lift the Blades to a 2-1 victory over Prince Albert at home on Sept. 24. On Oct. 28, he scored both of his team’s goals in the third period as the Blades beat the Medicine Hat Tigers, 2-1.
It is certainly not just on offence that Parr is contributing. Earlier this season against the Regina Pats, the Blades turned to Parr, Jayden Wiens and Vaughn Watterodt to try keep forecasted NHL Draft first overall pick Connor Bedard and his linemates in check. Parr takes pride in the defensive side of the game.
“I love getting out there and killing penalties or shutting down lines,” he said. “It’s half of the game. It’s just as important as offence. When you can do the job on the defensive end, it’s definitely a huge help to team. It’s pretty satisfying.”
While Parr had played well this season, the Blades are also excited for his continued development.
“He wants to get better,” Rabbit said. “The sky’s the limit once he gets comfortable in this league and figures out what he can and can’t do.”
Parr is pleased to be contributing to a successful Blades team.
“We have a tight-knit group this year,” he said. “It’s just so fun to go to war with everyone every game. We love working for each other. When we go out and work, it’s a lot of fun together.”