One-on-One With Darren Dutchyshen
During Thursday’s late game at Tecumseh Arena between Team Pacific and Team West for the World U-17, TSN hockey analyst Darren Dutchyshen was spotted behind the glass talking with scouts, all while watching his nephew play for Team West. “Dutchy,” as he is known on TSN, took time during intermissions and post-game for pictures and autographs with fans. Darren was kind enough to allow me to sit down with him for an interview, with his thoughts on the U-17 tournament.
Kyle Busch: Tecumseh is a small town, around 24,000 people live here. What do think of the show that the city is putting on here at Tecumseh Arena?
Darren Dutchyshen: It’s really good, I come from a small town of nine hundred, not 900,000; nine hundred, so I’m used to it and it’s nice. Hockey Canada does such an amazing job, and my nephew is playing so I’m a little bit biased. I haven’t had the chance to see him play in over a year, and so he comes from out West because that’s where all my family is from, so I get a chance to watch him, so I’m pretty big on this event. This is a really good deal for me, I’m more excited about it than he is I think (laughs). No, that’s not true he was really excited about it too, this is really nice.
KB: Out of curiosity, which player is your nephew?
DD: Greg Chase, plays for Team Pacific, number eleven.
KB: So they get the win tonight (5-2 over Team West), how do you feel about his performance?
DD: Good, he was my player of the game, and I didn’t get an official pick, but he played really well, so I was pretty happy.
KB: Have you been out to any other games during the tournament?
DD: No, I just got into Tecumseh today. We’re going to hang out tonight and go to another game tomorrow, I think they play the Czech’s tomorrow, and then we have to go back (home) on Saturday.
KB: Did anybody stand out in particular from tonight’s game?
DD: I liked the (Sam) Reinhart kid; he was pretty good for Team Pacific, too. Number three (Macoy Erkamps) is a good defenceman, I like number four, the (Mason) Geertsen kid, he’s like 6-3 or 6-4, whatever, big kid with pretty good boots, moves his feet pretty well. Actually, I’ve got to be honest with you, they kind of all did, the quality of play is really, really, really good. I mean it’s fast, really good hockey.
KB: I was at the Ontario and Germany game and there was minimal hitting, but this one was really hard hitting, is that to be expected from two teams out west?
DD: A hundred percent, that’s the way we play the game. You’ve got Team Pacific and Team West, you drop the puck and people are going to run each other, especially for the first eight minutes, that all they did was run each other. It was really physical, it was awesome. Really great hockey to watch.
KB: Do you think any of these guys are NHL ready now, or do they need more time to develop?
DD: No, not even close. Not even close, they’re a long ways out from the NHL. Even if you watched them play now, and if you watched them play because they’re all the same birth year, it’s better because you get a barometer as to where they stand, but even if you watch them play, for example, on Team Pacific every kind plays in the WHL, you watch some games out there because sometimes I watch the games on the internet and on TV, watching them play against 18, 19 year old, 20 year olds, it’s a totally different game. These kids are a long way out.
KB: Is there a number one overall pick out there?
DD: In this tournament?
DD: Yes. I don’t know who it is, I wish I knew (laughs). But there’s going to be. This tournament has got great history, if you take a look it really is a springboard for players going on to play for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships. So if you’re invited and you play in this tournament, you’re a pretty good player.
KB: Thanks for your time, Darren.
DD: My pleasure, buddy.
After the interview, we spoke freely about how the players looked average on the ice playing against each other, but thinking hard to when I played when I was 17 to the quality and talent of the players in the tournament, there was no doubt that these guys are the cream of the crop. He talked about how players like Rick Nash, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin played in this tournament and that there was another superstar out there, maybe even more.
I want to thank Darren for taking the time to talk with me about the tournament, and the best of luck to his nephew Greg and Team West the rest of the tournament!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @KyleBusch11 and Brian Raiger at @ragier89 for exclusive U-17 game updates and articles!