Loyalty means a lot to Tyler Bird.
Brown University was the first college to contact him last spring. They stayed in touch with him throughout the summer when he participated in USA Hockey’s Player Development Camp in Rochester, N.Y., and into this, his junior season skating for St. John’s Prep.
So while the 6-foot-2, 200-pound sharpshooter had other Division 1 college hockey programs interested in his services, such as Yale, Union, Northeastern, Boston University and the University of Vermont, Bird felt the most comfortable with the school that contacted him first.
The 16-year-old Bird committed to Brown this past weekend shortly before he helped St. John’s Prep defeat Xaverian for its first Catholic Conference championship in 19 years.
”I’ve just always had a good feeling from Brown from the first time I spoke with them,” said Bird, a right winger who is third on the Eagles in scoring with nine goals and 15 points.
“The school has a little bit of everything that I wanted. Coach (Brendan) Whittet and all of his assistants are great guys; I really like the other recruits they have coming in; the facilities are great; it’s close to home; and obviously, it’s a great school. Getting to go to an Ivy League school is definitely a great thrill for me.”
The Bears currently sport an 8-9-5 record, including 4-6-5 in ECAC play.
Bird is the fourth player from St. John’s Prep in the last three years to commit to a Division 1 college, joining Colin Blackwell (currently a sophomore at Harvard), Sam Kurker (a freshman at Boston University) and current teammate Brian Pinho, a senior captain and linemate who is already ticketed for Providence College.
St. John’s Prep head coach Kristian Hanson feels Brown is a perfect fit for his first line winger.