As he has grown several inches in height and become noticeably stronger, so too has he elevated his game.
Still very young, with a 2004 birth date, forward Tyson Doucette looms as a rising star for the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
Known for his smarts, skill and work ethic, size became Doucette’s drawback as he moved up through the AAA minor hockey ranks in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie.
As a 15-year old while skating for the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League, Doucette was a mere 5-foot-4, 115 pounds. And his numbers were rather modest during that 2019-2020 season with two goals, 11 assists, 13 points in 28 games. Thus, he was bypassed at the 2020 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.
Still, Doucette impressed the NOJHL Thunderbirds enough last fall to make the team as one of its two 16-year olds. And as Doucette grew to 5-foot-9, 145 pounds, his numbers were more impressive with five goals, six assists, 11 points in 20 games as one of the NOJHL’s youngest players during a 2020-2021 season that was severely shortened by COVID-19.
Now, even bigger at 5-foot-11, 160 pounds — and still growing — Doucette stood out in a big way at the Thunderbirds recent NOJHL development camp weekend.
New Thunderbirds general manager Jamie Henderson, who coached Doucette with the Jr. Greyhounds two years ago, has taken note of the youngster’s growth.
“Ty has grown physically quite a bit over the last six months or so and he really led the way at our development camp,” Henderson told Hockey News North. “His speed is noticeable and he’s a threat every time he’s on the ice. Looking ahead to the upcoming season, we will need him to be our best player night in and night out.
“Ty has always been a great thinker on the ice,” Henderson added. “Now his body has begun to catch up and he has put in the work to get himself stronger. There is no timetable with development … each player takes a different path to achieve their goals. We want these guys to be great players at 18 and 20 and beyond.
“With Ty this coming season, it will be different for him in that he goes from a rookie just getting his feet wet during COVID hockey to someone we will rely on to lead us at both ends of the rink. So, there will be an adjustment. But Ty can play, of that there is absolutely no doubt,” the no-nonsense Henderson summed up.