2011-12: Tyler Bird played for St. John’s Prep in Massachusetts as a sophomore and skated for the Valley Junior Warriors Empire Junior Hockey League team. He scored 9 goals with 5 assists in 20 games during the regular season skating on the first line with Brian Pinho (WSH) and Sam Kurker (STL). The Pioneers finished 16-6-2 and reached the semifinals of the 2012 Super Eight Tournament with wins over Springfield Cathedral, Central Catholic and St.Mary’s before falling to BC High, 3-2. Bird scored 5 goals with 3 assists and 8 penalty minutes in 17 games with the Warriors.
2012-13: Bird skated for St. John’s Prep as a junior. In 19 regular season games he scored 10 goals with 12 assists. St. John’s was the top ranked team heading into the Super Eight Tournament and defeated Central Catholic in a three-game quarterfinal series before falling 2-1 to Austin Prep in the semifinals; finishing the year 19-4-1. In February he committed to playing college hockey at Brown in 2015-16. Bird was selected by Rimouski in the 14th round (252nd overall) in the QMJHL Entry Draft and was chosen by Tri-City in the 18th round (257th overall) of the USHL Entry Draft.
2013-14: Bird transferred to Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire in his senior year; skating for former University of Maine head coach Tim Whitehead in the New England prep hockey league. He was the second-leading scorer for the Wildcats behind 2015 draft-eligible left wing A.J. Greer. Bird scored 33 goals with 27 assists in 37 games. He scored his final goal in the NEPSIHA Small School championship game as Kimball Union defeated Dexter 5-1. Bird was ranked 117th in the Central Scouting final rankings and took part in the NHL Scouting Combine in May. He was selected by Columbus in the fifth round (137th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
2014-15: Bird skated in 27 of 31 games for Brown University in his freshman season — arriving at the ECAC Hockey League school a year earlier than originally planned. The Bears struggled to start the season, winning two of their first 10 games, and finished 11th in the 12-team league. Bird’s offensive numbers reflect those struggles as he ended the year with four points (2 goals, 2 assists), scoring his first college goal in a 4-1 win at last-place Princeton on February 20th. The Bears were swept by eventual league champion Harvard in a best-of-three first-round series to end the year 8-20-3.
2015-16: Bird was offensively-challenged Brown University’s third-leading goal scorer with six goals in 31 games in his sophomore season. He had 2 assists and was -8 with 6 penalty minutes for the Bears. Brown finished next-to-last in ECAC Hockey for the second straight year and was swept by Rensselaer in a preliminary round best-of-three series.
Bird was a dominant scorer at the prep school level whose size and physical attributes make him an intriguing prospect. He plays with a lot of grit and uses his big frame to gain positioning in front of the net. Bird relies on his heavy shot to beat goalies and create rebounds. He is constantly pestering the crease looking for second chance opportunities. Still a long way from being a finished product there are elements of his game that attract attention.
Bird was one of three sophomores in the Brown University lineup in 2015-16 that was selected in the 2014 NHL Draft (Sam Lafferty (Pittsburgh) and Max Willman (Buffalo) were the others). The three have seen a lot of ice time since arriving in Providence but the Bears struggled again and all three players are still working to adjust to the college game. They will be under the microscope as juniors in 2016-17. Bird's size and skill set suggests he can be an effective scorer and power forward but his overall game is still developing. Whether he receives an entry-level NHL contract following his college career is uncertain at this point.