Tyson Helgesen grew up playing hockey with his friends and family in the small town of Fairview, Alta., where there weren’t a lot of options for sports. Hockey was popular there, so over time, it caught his interest as well.
Helgesen began playing organized hockey at the age of five, playing in small leagues and on school teams every year since. But his time on the ice wasn’t limited to the organized sport.
“My dad always made outdoor rinks for my siblings and me to skate and play hockey on, so there were a lot of good opportunities for me to get into the sport through my family’s interest in it.”
Helgesen is currently pursuing his bachelor of business administration at Mount Royal University and just completed his fourth and final year on the hockey team. When he first came to MRU, he was quite nervous about balancing his academics with his hockey career.
“Professors have always been very supportive and understanding when you initially join a class and you introduce yourself, create a connection with them and give them a heads-up that you’re gonna be on the road for the games, and just building those relationships with professors goes a long way for success in balancing your school,” said Helgesen.
His efforts paid off in early March when he signed an offer to join the Rapid City Rush of the ECHL. He’ll be joining his brother Kenton Helgesen with the club, which is an affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes.
As Helgesen’s time in university is coming to an end with his graduation this spring, this is the perfect opportunity for him to begin advancing his career as a hockey player. His goal is to one day join a European league.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the ECHL as the East Coast Hockey League. The league is called the ECHL.