WHL, CW Experience Paying Off for Fiddler Overseas
Brian Swane, Special to Canada West
One is a resource industry hub on the Canadian Prairies that is
the third largest city in its province. The other is a quiet Nordic
community that was once the centre of a now-abolished Danish
The language, the food, the culture, even the climate, are vastly
But for the ocean that separate these two locales, share an
unyielding passion for action on the ice.
Prince Albert, Sask., is where Tyler Fiddler’s from; Vojens,
Denmark, is where the 27-year-old is today, and Calgary is where
he had a long layover in the interim – eight great years playing
rst in the Western Hockey League, and then in the Canada West.
“I think I am just so lucky that hockey has opened up so many
doors for me,” says Fiddler, an assistant captain with the 2010
Memorial Cup champion Calgary Hitmen who went on to become
a Canada West All-Star at Mount Royal University.
“All my family are born and raised in P.A. and they haven’t really
ventured too far away from home, which is totally ne,” he
continues. “But for me, hockey has given me the opportunity
to explore the world. I have been able to explore Europe and
engage in the culture and lifestyle which has been an amazing
Fiddler is wrapping up his second year in Denmark’s premier
ice hockey league, the Metal Ligean. The six-foot forward ranks
among the top scorers on SønderjyskE, a team that plays in the
league’s smallest market but at its largest venue: The SE Arena
has 5,000 seats, enough to accommodate about two-thirds the
entire population of Vojens.
“Not a lot goes on here other than hockey,” he says. “The people
30 CANADA WEST YEARBOOK
are very passionate about their team (and) the atmosphere at
our home games is crazy. It is a lot of fun to play in front of.”
After nishing his university career in 2016, Fiddler turned pro,
notching 16 points in just 15 games with the Colorado Eagles of
the ECHL, before deciding to go overseas for the 2016-17 season.
His introduction to the Metal Ligaen came with the Esbjerg
Energy, a team based in Denmark’s fth-largest city with a
population roughly 10 times that of Vojens.
“I had heard good things about Denmark being a good stepping
stone league that helps players develop and move on up to some
of the top leagues in Europe,” says Fiddler.
“The hockey is high quality with lots of talent and it is a bonus
that the travel is fairly easy as the longest bus ride is three and a
Fiddler led MRU to the its rst two Canada West semi nal
appearances in the 2015 and 2016 playo s, and in his senior
season, 2015-16, ranked second in the conference with 35
points while being named a First Team All-Canadian. The Prairie
product’s worldly perspective broadened with the Canadian
men’s hockey team that won bronze at the 2015 Winter
Universiade in Granada, Spain.
A decade has passed since a teen-aged Fiddler moved from his
home province to join the Hitmen. Fiddler played parts of four
seasons with the Western Hockey League club, highlighted by
2009-10, when he scored 30 goals before helping Calgary win
the top prize in major junior hockey.
When his junior eligibility elapsed after the 2010-11 season,
Fiddler decided to take advantage of the Western Hockey
League’s Premier Scholarship Program – for every season played
in the WHL, a player is entitled to a minimum of tuition, books
and compulsory fees at any post-secondary institution.