Lloydminster’s TJ Lloyd, an assistant captain with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints, has committed to play for the NCAA Division 1 Bowling Green State University Falcons. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Border City’s TJ Lloyd has taken another big step forward in life and hockey.
Lloyd has committed to play for the NCAA Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Division 1 Bowling Green State University Falcons beginning in the 2019-20 season.
The current assistant captain of the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints is receiving a near-full scholarship, about 97 per cent, to play defence for the Falcons, while also majoring in business.
“I chose to commit to Bowling Green because of the interest they showed in me,” said Lloyd, 18.
“Leading into the (World Junior A Challenge), they texted me right away and their assistant coach, Ty Eigner, was really big on me and really high on my game. Then it was time for me to do some research on them. I know they have a really good hockey program, they’re a good business school, and I just thought that it would be very good for my future.”
Lloyd said the Falcons staff first met up with him at the AJHL Showcase in Camrose last September with a second meeting coming after the five-foot-eight and 165-pound blueliner attended the Team Canada West camp a little over two months later.
He said Bowling Green doesn’t generally recruit kids from Canada, so it was definitely something he was interested in when the opportunity arose.
“In Spruce Grove we obviously have a good team this year,” he said. “I’m a two-way defenceman and that’s something that my coaches have done a very good job of developing me on over the years. That’s what I’m going to try to bring to Bowling Green when I head down there.”
A strong performance with the Saints at the AJHL Showcase also helped Lloyd gain an invite to the Team Canada West camp, which led to the makeup of the squad that would compete at World Junior A Challenge in Truro, N.S., in mid-December. The former Lloydminster Heat bantam AAA, Rage minor midget AAA and Bobcats midget AAA rearguard noted he was used in more of a shutdown role with Team Canada West, which captured its fifth gold medal in tournament history with a 5-1 victory against the United States.
Lloyd, who has four goals and 22 points with the Viterra North Division leading Saints (38-9-3) this season, said winning a championship with Team Canada West was incredible, but the biggest takeaway is the memories shared among the players.
He said they’ve also got a great group of guys and staff in Spruce Grove that should help him gain a few more championship lessons over the next season and a half.
“The coaches of Bowling Green will definitely be in contact with the coaches of Spruce Grove,” said Lloyd.
“I trust our coaches and management to do a great job of developing me as a player and a person and I’ll be ready to go to Bowling Green when that time comes.”