WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON, PA -- Tyler Watungwa, a forward for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, has committed to Finlandia University for the Fall of 2018. The '97 joined the Knights in mid-December, and racked up 15 points in 25 total games.
“I was just doing my job as a coach and reaching out to other coaches at the college level to talk about my 97s,” said Knights head coach Josh Fusco. “One of the schools I talked to was my alma mater Finlandia. Coach Joe Burcar was my coach while I was there. I know what what he likes and what he demands out of his players. I wanted to help him out and ultimately help Tyler. Burcar wants hockey players and he’s getting one in Tyler. He came in, and I thought he was going to be a middle six forward, a kind of a grinder guy, but right off the bat he proved he could be a goal-scorer. It let me put him on a line with Tyler Nielsen and Cody Rumsey for a good portion of the season, and that was a really solid combination for us. On the ice, his best skill to me, is his puck handling. He’s a skilled guy and a really strong player. He’s hard to push off the puck. He makes a lot of good plays with his vision. Ultimately his ability to move the puck, to get down low and win possessions for us, and keep it on his blade made him a really essential forward in our lineup.”
As Fusco mentioned, Watungwa helped add some extra punch to the Knights lineup following his arrival. After being held off the scoresheet in his first EHL game, the Canadian forward ripped off a six-game point streak, in which his team won every matchup. In that stretch, Watungwa tallied a pair of game-winning goals to his name. Looking back on his short stint in the EHL, Watungwa knows it was huge in helping himself advance to college hockey. The big forward took some time to reflect and give thanks.
“First and foremost, I want to thank my mom,” said Watungwa “She’s been a big part of getting me into sports. She drives me to all these crazy places in the middle of nowhere just to play hockey. She’s been a real inspiration for me. A huge thank you to Coach Fusco and the whole Knights organization for giving me the ability to play at a level where I could be in front of all of these scouts and giving me the right coaching and the tools I needed to get to the next level. I want to thank all the teammates that I had this year and past years who helped make me a better player and a better person."
Learn more about the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on the team's official website, and check out the full list of 2018 NCAA Commitments.