By Jake Howorth, North York Rangers Communications and Digital Director. Image from OJHL Images.
Cole Tucker’s hockey journey will continue as he officially committed to Elmira College of the NCAA DIII. He will play for the Soaring Eagles and attend the Institution this upcoming fall.
“I committed to Elmira for multiple reasons. The main one being how great the communication and understanding with Coach Aaron Saul has been. He understands what type of player I am with my strengths and weaknesses as a player and has expressed an easy transition from North York to Elmira with a similar mentality of winning and work ethic on both teams,” Tucker explained. “Another reason Elmira was an easy choice was because of my connection with former Ranger teammate Jonas Leas on the team and his constant communication with me since his last Junior game.”
The Toronto, Ont., native has been with the Rangers organization since 2017 season. He played two full seasons for the organizations GTHL U18 team and was even used as an AP call up for the top club during the 2017-2018. He earned his spot with the big club the very next season. He dressed 39 games recording two goals and eight assists for 10 points before being a part of trade deadline deal with the Toronto Patriots. He was sent to the division rival for forward Dante Spagnuolo and defencemen Josh Rettinger. He went on record two points in 10 regular season games.
In the offseason, North York reacquired Tucker, who went on to have a career-season registering five goals and 14 assists for 19 points in 27 games. He was going to return with the Rangers for his final junior season before it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Tucker knows he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support and time with the Rangers.
“North York really helped me become the player I am today. The organization as a whole helped develop me from a younger nervous hockey player into not only a confident hockey player with great habits but a confident hard-working man overall in all aspects of life,” the forward explained. “Obviously any organization can develop hockey players skills but not many can say they develop players for the next level and life. Coach Geoff Schomogyi and the coaching staff as well as Claude Desjardins do a great job teaching habits, systems, and work ethic that help players reach the next level and apply to life after hockey. I wouldn’t be where in this situation without them.”
Fifth-year head coach Geoff Schomogyi saw his development firsthand throughout the years with the Rangers. Tucker is the perfect player that all teams could use on their roster.
“Cole came up through our midget program and was a great leader and strong player for us. Cole would have been apart of our leadership group this year as high brings such high character to our dressing room and team,” the head coach said. “Cole continued to grow as a player during his years in NYR. He played a very heavy game and could be very hard to continue down low, and loved to go to the dirty areas!”
When Tucker looks back at his time with the Rangers, he only has positive experiences and knows it was the perfect situation or him.
“I’ll never forget my time as a Ranger. Every player in that locker room will be my family for life. It’s too bad this last year was tarnished by COVID-19 because these were some of the best years of my life so far and I know this year wouldn’t have been any different. The Herbert H. Carnegie Centennial Centre will always be home,” he explained.
Tucker becomes the 32nd Ranger to commit to either the NCAA or U SPORTS since 2016.