Tyler Motte Looking To Build Off NCAA Success
After three successful seasons at the University of Michigan, Tyler Motte has joined the Chicago Blackhawks organization with a bright future ahead of him. A fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Motte started his journey to the professional ranks at the United States Development Program in Michigan, playing for the Under-18 Development Team from 2011-2013 in 184 games and scoring 132 points (78 goals, 54 assists).
After being selected 121st overall by the Blackhawks, Motte attended the University of Michigan where he played three seasons and skated in 107 games, scoring 105 points (50 goals, 55 assists). In his junior season, Motte finished third on the team in scoring with 56 points (32 goals, 24 assists), and his 32 goals ranked him second on the team behind Kyle Conner.
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Michigan was the Big Ten Conference Champion and made its first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2011-12, while Motte was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award for NCAA Men’s Hockey Player Of The Year.
In April, Motte joined the Blackhawks organization when he signed an ATO with the Rockford IceHogs with his entry-level contract kicking in next season. Upon his arrival in Rockford, Motte made an immediate impact, scoring five points in the final five games of the AHL season, as well as two goals in the IceHogs’ three Calder Cup Playoffs games.
Motte Playing With Team USA
Along with IceHogs teammate Vinnie Hinostroza, Motte is playing with Team USA at the IIHF World Championships in Russia this month. So far through the first four games of the tournament, Motte has tallied two assists for Team USA as the Americans have defeated Belarus and France, while dropping games to Finland and Canada.
Motte has spent most of his time at the World Championships playing alongside his former linemates at the University of Michigan as both Conner and J.T. Compher are playing with Team USA as well.
Motte’s entry-level deal begins next season and will most likely see him play most, if not all, of his first full professional season with the IceHogs. Motte is a skilled goal scorer who is able to contribute on both the powerplay and penalty kill. IceHogs head coach Ted Dent used Motte on both special teams units in his short time with Rockford this spring, and signs point to him getting those same opportunities heading into next season.
It may take a full year or two for Motte’s game to get to the point where the Blackhawks could have regular use for him at the NHL level, and his size (5-foot-9, 190 lbs.) may need a bit of conditioning at the professional level to accommodate for the physicality of a full AHL or NHL campaign. At 21 years old, Motte has ample time to reach the NHL in an organization that has depth in the forward department.