Profiles in Sports: Tyler Maugeri

This profile on ice hockey player Tyler Maugeri is one in a series on individuals in the community who are involved with the world of sports.

Growing up in New Jersey, Tyler Maugeri did not even have to leave his house to find a competitive hockey game. Whenever he wanted to skate, he would grab his older brothers and some friends and play roller hockey in his basement.

Since moving to Malibu, Maugeri, a senior at Malibu High School, has discovered that hockey is not as popular or convenient here as it is on the East Coast. He must now drive to El Segundo, where he plays for the Los Angeles Jr. Kings traveling ice hockey club.

But the commute has not dampened Maugeri’s passion for hockey. The forward led the Jr. Kings in assists, and he played well enough to be drafted by the Fargo Force in the 2010 United States Hockey League Entry Draft.

Describe your playing style.

I consider myself a well-rounded player. I score goals when I get my opportunities, but as the Captain of my team, I am the go-to guy for key situations such as face-offs, power plays and penalty kills. I would compare my style to Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks because he is a great two-way forward who can score goals and kill penalties.

How do your friends react when they find out that you are a talented hockey player?

They are pretty surprised, especially living in Malibu, since I am one of few, if any, ice hockey players in Malibu.

You were the captain of the LA Jr. Kings. What do you do to be a good team leader?

I make sure everyone is prepared for the game and that everyone knows what they need to do in order to win the game. I try to motivate my teammates as much as possible, and encourage them when they have had a bad shift.

You play for the LA Jr. Kings ice hockey team in El Segundo. How do you balance your time with school and commuting to practice and games?

It’s pretty hard to allot my time since the rink is right next to the airport, and I pretty much go there everyday. Sometimes if I have a big test the next day, I will ask one of my parents to drive me so that I can study in the car. Also, if I give my teachers a heads up, they are usually lenient with my due dates since they understand my commitment to hockey.

What is you favorite NHL team? Favorite player?

Being from the East Coast, I have to go with the Philadelphia Flyers. My favorite NHL player is Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals or Mike Richards of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Hockey is notorious for its violent fights. Have you ever been involved in any serious hockey fights?

Not any really serious fights, since we are not allowed to fight in my league. But I have been in my fair share of scrums in front of the net.

Television ratings for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals were up this year. How can hockey continue to grow and become more popular in America?

Hockey can continue to grow by advertising and promoting the league like the NFL does.

What was your reaction when you found out that you were drafted by the Fargo Force?

I was extremely excited. The Fargo Force has only been in the USHL for two years, and both years they have been in the finals. It is such a good organization, and with many players moving on, there will be a lot of spots to fill next year.

What is going to be the biggest change moving from Malibu to North Dakota?

Probably moving away from my family and getting used to the cold weather again.

The USHL is an amateur league, which means that you are still eligible to play NCAA college hockey. What are your goals for the future?

The past few weeks I have been talking to the Harvard University coaches, and I went to visit a few campuses not too long ago. The coaches are going to come out and watch me next year so hopefully everything will work out with them. Either way, the USHL is a really great league, and I would really like to end up playing Division One college hockey for an Ivy League school.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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