The following article was posted on www.nhl.com on Tuesday, August 7 featuring former Dartmouth standout Tyler Sikura.
By Chris Wescott
You don't have to tell Tyler Sikura he's flying under the radar. He's embracing that underdog role.
"I take pride in myself that nobody expected me to do what I did last season," he said. "This year, I don't know if anyone expects me to do what I'm going to do."
Despite hockey bloodlines and an NCAA career that saw him voted rookie of the year as a freshman and team MVP as a sophomore - ultimately leading to a captaincy in his final two seasons at Dartmouth - Sikura wasn't just going to be handed a shot.
Although he went undrafted by NHL clubs, the forward kept grinding.
After toiling in the ECHL to start his professional career, Sikura joined the Chicago Blackhawks organization ahead of the 2017-18 season. That's when Sikura seized an opportunity, culminating in a breakout campaign.
In 74 games for the American Hockey League's Rockford IceHogs, Sikura scored 23 goals, just one shy of Matthew Highmore for the team lead.
"I felt I improved a lot throughout the year and earned more opportunities as it went on," Sikura said. "Right from training camp, I had to make a team and then I had to find a spot on the roster and then move my way up the roster. I think I improved a lot and learned a lot from the coaching staff and the other guys we had on our roster. We pushed each other every day at practice. I ended up putting myself in the right position to make the next step."
The goal scoring is not something that came naturally.
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