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Men's Hockey

Drevitch Brings Toughness, Grittiness To Merrimack’s Forward Group

photo: Jr. Hockey Digest

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Tyler Drevitch’s journey to Merrimack College began in Middleboro, Mass., where he grew up and played for the Boston Jr. Bandits. After that, he made stops in Des Moines, Iowa, Muskegon, Michigan, Youngstown, Ohio and North Richland Hills, Texas. The 21-year-old freshman forward is excited to begin his four-year career with the Warriors after committing nearly three years ago, in November of 2013.

At the time of his commitment, Drevitch was an 18-year-old playing in his final season for the Jr. Bandits in the Eastern Hockey League. After that, he embarked on a two-year career in the USHL as well as making a stop in the NAHL towards the end of last season.

It was a worthwhile experience for Drevitch, whose father, Scott, played at Maine and UMass Lowell in the mid-1980s and his brother, Logan, is also committed to Merrimack.

“You definitely learn to take a role,” Drevitch said of his junior experience. “Everyone is a good player in that league and everyone comes into that league as a goal scorer at lower levels. You need to learn to adapt your game and really expand your game to another level.

“For me personally, I learned to diversify my game and become a better shutdown guy. I had a lot of great teammates and friends, people I still keep in touch with, so the whole experience was great.”

Drevitch should be able to contribute right away on Merrimack’s penalty kill, as well as in a strong defensive role. Some have compared him to sophomore Michael Babcock, who made an impact last season using his speed and work ethic on the defensive side of the puck as well as on the PK.

“I really focus on being strong in the defensive zone with a good stick,” Drevitch said. “I try to think I play big, play strong and play mean. If I can, I’ll try to use my speed and play quick. In the offensive zone I like to think I can create some momentum and just be creative. I just try to do whatever I can to help out.”

TMR: You guys have been in here since the summer, all of the freshman. How important is that for newer guys coming in just to get used to the surroundings, get workouts in, and just being around your new teammates a little bit before the actual start of school and the start of the season?

TD: “Just as a team, it definitely helps bring the guys together. The first couple weeks a lot of it is just getting used to campus. It’s new for all of us. It also helps with us getting introduced to the culture here and what everyone expects as a whole, as a team. Coming in earlier was helpful, for sure.”

TMR: Were there any of the veterans who stuck around? I know usually there are.

TD: “We had about 15 guys here in the summer, including all of the freshmen. Some were coming and going and other guys were here the whole summer. Having those guys here was definitely helpful. Those guys have taken us under their wing and really helped us out, which is huge for us.”

TMR: You come from a hockey family, obviously. Your brother is committed here also and your dad I know played hockey at Lowell. Is college hockey something you always knew you wanted to pursue?

TD: “Since I was young, for sure. I always wanted to play college hockey and a it was a goal. It’s not the end goal, but it was a big goal of mine and it’s a big accomplishment to be here at Merrimack. I think I was about eight years old when I first really discovered what college hockey was and since then it’s really been something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m grateful to have the chance to do it.”

TMR: What was the USHL experience like for you? It’s probably the best development league in the world when it comes to college hockey, and I know a lot of guys talk about what a big step up it is.

TD: “You definitely learn to take a role. Everyone is a good player in that league and everyone comes into that league as a goal scorer at lower levels. You need to learn to adapt your game and really expand your game to another level.

“For me personally, I learned to diversify my game and become a better shutdown guy. I had a lot of great teammates and friends, people I still keep in touch with, so the whole experience was great.”

TMR: You’re a local guy too, so was it different being away from home?

TD: “Definitely a little different not having my dad and brother around the rink. Once you get away from home you miss your family a little extra and you definitely realize how important family is.”

TMR: How would you describe yourself as a player, in terms of style?

TD: “Just a two-way, shutdown forward. That’s what I try to be. I really focus on being strong in the defensive zone with a good stick. I try to think I play big, play strong and play mean. If I can, I’ll try to use my speed and play quick. In the offensive zone I like to think I can create some momentum and just be creative. I just try to do whatever I can to help out.”

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