Tyler Gaulin has been getting acclimated to the state of Maine while playing for the Lewiston-based Maine Nordiques of the North American Hockey League.
The left winger will play his college hockey 115 miles to the north as he has verbally committed to attend the University of Maine beginning with the 2022-2023 season.
Gaulin, who will be a scholarship player, said he is excited to play at UMaine and is impressed with the program.
“It is really high-tech and the coaches seemed very professional. They know what it takes [to succeed]. They showed trust in me and I gained trust in them,” Gaulin said.
“There were other schools interested in me but Maine is where I wanted to be,” he added.
The 6-foot, 175-pound Gaulin has registered two goals and five assists through four games this season for the Nordiques. He tallied two goals in two games for them last season.
The native of Kingston, New Hampshire, who will turn 19 next month, spent most of last season at Berwick Academy. He posted 21 goals and 27 assists in 29 games.
“He is a dynamic player,” said Nordiques coach Nolan Howe, son of Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Howe and grandson of Hall of Fame legend Gordie Howe.
Howe said Gaulin has a high hockey IQ that really sets him apart.
“Even when he came in as a rookie last year, he was a couple of steps ahead [mentally]. He has great anticipation, not only where the play is going to be but where the puck is going,” Howe said.
Nordiques general manager Eric Soltys said Gaulin has exceptional ice vision and makes players around him better.
“He is a fantastic player. He is a great catch for Maine,” Soltys said.
“He’s creative and he isn’t afraid to find his way to the blue paint [goalie crease] either. He has quick hands in tight,” he added.
Howe said Gaulin has a deceptive shot and can trick goalies with it.
“He has great hands and great feet and is able to disguise his shot. Goalies have a hard time tracking it,” Howe said.
Howe called Gaulin a student of the game and said he studies a lot of film to improve himself.
“Not only is he a terrific hockey player, he is a fantastic young man as well,” Howe said.
Gaulin, who said he loves playing in Lewiston, believes he needs to get bigger and stronger before going to UMaine. He isn’t sure where he will play during the 2021-2022 season, either with the Nordiques or in another Junior league.
His participation at UMaine is dependent upon his being accepted into the school and meeting NCAA eligibility requirements.