A couple of weeks ago Tanner Watt found himself on the Rockets’ fourth line, a familiar position for a lot of rookies who are making their first jump up to Junior B hockey. When top line forward Nick McCabe went down with an injury, however, Rockets’ head coach Ty Davidson had a good idea of who could take his place.
“I just kind of went on a hunch. [Watt] is a kid that I had liked, and he was playing well and he has taken full advantage of it,” Davidson said.
Watt hasn’t looked back, producing four goals and six assists in his past four games alongside veteran Connor Beauchemin and fellow KIJHL rookie Jacob Macpherson.
“Me and Macpherson work pretty hard in the corners and Beauch is quick so we try to get him the puck as much as we can and it works out well for us,” said Watt of the new line’s early chemistry.
With his recent run of points, Watt finds himself tied for second with defencemen Coltin Berard in team scoring. Despite the run of points, Watt doesn’t consider himself to be a pure scorer.
“A little gritty but I just try to work as hard as I can every night and hopefully things happen,” Watt said when asked to describe his style of play.
In addition to the offense, the gritty side to his game has certainly shown up in the box score as well. Watt is currently second on the team in penalty minutes with 72, which includes five different 10 minute misconducts.
Watt agrees that the speed of the the game in the KIJHL was an adjustment at first, and he credits team leaders such as Beauchemin, Michael Anderson and captain Brett DeFrias, who lives with Watt, for bringing him along in the early going.
Watt, a native of Terrace, B.C., is hoping that he can eventually turn his young hockey career into a scholarship to play at the collegiate level.