As the new season dawns for NHL teams, one of the young players I will be following is former Spokane Chief forward Tyler Johnson. Tyler is the type of player that is easy to cheer for, for both his on ice play and his character off the ice. At last summer's Western Hockey League Awards Banquet, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Tyler and his parents. Despite his many accomplishments in junior hockey(Memorial Cup Championship, for example), I found Tyler to be an extremely humble, down-to-earth, and polite individual. As for his play on the ice, there are many reasons to like him. I must confess to having an affinity for smallish right-handed center men. His doubters will say things like, "He is too small to compete at the NHL level," and, "He needs to find another gear, needs more speed." However, sooner or later his doubters will have to answer this question, "Why do good things keep happening for his team when he is on the ice?" Tyler has an elite level of hockey sense, leadership qualities, and is a winner. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be an asset to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization before long. It is a cliche in the scouting community, but I will say it anyway, "The kid can play"!