Jr. Ducks graduate, Stevenson Ranch native Shea decides on NCAA D-I Michigan for college career
Wenatchee Wild goalie Tyler Shea has made his Division I college commitment to play hockey and attend the University of Michigan.
The Wolverines play in the Big Ten conference and the school is located in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“I first started playing hockey when I was five years old,” said Shea, a Stevenson Ranch native. “My dad’s best friend from high school had a son who played hockey and was in fact a goalie. They took me to his championship game at a local tournament which they won and celebrated like no other. Right then and there, I fell in love with the sport and started my skating lessons a few weeks later.”
After stops in Austin (NAHL) and Madison (USHL), Shea wrapped up his junior career in Wenatchee (BCHL).
“From my time in Wenatchee, as well as any team I have played on, I will always treasure the relationships that I make with my teammates, billet families, and staff,” said Shea. “The on-ice side of the game is only part of it but spending time with everyone and going through the grind of the season together is something that we can hold onto for a long time.”
When asked what prompted his decision to choose Michigan, he replied, “The University of Michigan is a very storied program. They have a lot of history and are built off of the ‘Team’ tradition and that really resonated with me. Once the staff and I had a few meetings and I got to hear what the process was and hear more about the program, I was all in. It wasn’t much of a choice, to be honest. It was an honor to receive those phone calls.”
Hockey is part of the equation, of course, but the education factor is key.
“On the topic of academics, I will be pursuing a degree in the Ross School of Business at the University,” Shea said. “I have not been admitted into that program yet as there are prerequisites that I will have to take, but that is my goal on the school side.”
Wild head coach Chris Clark remarked, “We are very excited for Tyler on his commitment to Michigan. It is great to see his hard work and dedication pay off. Tyler did a great job for us last year and we can’t wait to follow his career as he heads to the University of Michigan.”
Shea acknowledges that reaching this pinnacle wasn’t done alone.
“It took a village to get me to this point,” said Shea. “When I reached out to my support system and let them all know the good news, I made sure to emphasize that it’s not just me accomplishing this goal, it was all of us. First, my family was there from the start with the long drives from practices and the sacrifices of our weekends being just a few examples of what they have done, and I will be forever thankful for the constant love and support. My coaches played a huge role in my development at every level, from when I was just starting out to my current ones, and they all made sure to make it clear that this is only the beginning. Lastly, my friends away from the game and my teammates all played an important role on the day-to-day support, and I will be forever grateful for the relationships made throughout my lifetime up to this point.
“There were a lot of ups and downs, a lot of dark days where no one knew what the next steps were going to be. It’s nice to give everyone a win.”
Back home, Shea spent time with the Anaheim Jr. Ducks and Valencia Jr. Flyers.
Photo/Garrett James Photography
(July 12, 2022)