Sophomore sensation Tyler Madden has signed his first professional contract, a three-year entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings worth $925,000 per year. Madden, a former third-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks, was traded to the Kings earlier this NHL season in a deal that sent Tyler Toffoli to Vancouver before the season was suspended. In doing so, Madden forgoes his final two seasons of NCAA eligibility.
From the moment he stepped foot on the ice for Northeastern, you could tell Tyler Madden was special. Starting his career by scoring in his first three collegiate games, he showed had a knack for scoring timely goals right from the start. As he continued to get his legs under him and build his game up to the NCAA level, he developed a swagger that made him a darling to Huskies fans, and an offensive catalyst for Northeastern the last two seasons. He was a unanimous selection to the 2019 Hockey East All-Rookie Team, a 2020 Hockey East All-Star First Team Selection, a 2020 All-CHN Second Team, a semifinalist for the 2020 Walter Brown Award, and a nominee for the 2019 and 2020 Hobey Baker Award.
In the program’s press release for the signing, Head Coach Jim Madigan called Madden “one of the best forwards in Northeastern history,” and it’s hard to argue with that given the success Madden had individually, as well as the team success he assisted in propelling the Huskies into. Individually, Madden scored 31 goals and had 34 assists in 63 games, giving him just over one point per game. From a team perspective, he was a driving force behind two Beanpot victories and a Hockey East title, as well as a victory in the Friendship Four in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Of those 31 goals, many came when the pressure was highest, which is when Madden truly shined.
Madden had a flair for the dramatic, both in timeliness of his goals and the celebrations he performed after scoring them. He first gained notoriety when doing a now-famous kayak celebration after scoring the overtime winner against then-top-ranked Massachusetts at Matthews Arena. That goal/celebration combo gained Madden (and Northeastern) national recognition, but that was just a taste of what was to come.
Tyler Madden wins it for Northeastern In Overtime over #1 UMass. Madden is 8-12-20 in 18 games as a freshman. pic.twitter.com/d3toha9a7L— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) January 20, 2019
February 5, 2019 was the date that Tyler Madden, the Northeastern Legend, was born. In his first Beanpot game, Madden played the hero once again, scoring the game-winning goal under a minute into the overtime, and celebrating with a snow angel across the TD Garden ice and into the highlight reels forever. After the game, Madden exclaimed: “The lights were bright out there, and I shine in those.” And thus, Mr. Bright Lights was born.
Tyler Madden's breakaway goal in overtime lifts Northeastern over Boston University in the Beanpot semifinal. pic.twitter.com/fdLahJkvF2— NESN (@NESN) February 5, 2019
Madden’s success continued through the end of his freshman year, scoring at the TD Garden again in a second 2-1 overtime victory over BU in the Hockey East Semifinals, before helping his team to victory over Boston College in the Finals. He would go pointless against Cornell in the NCAA Tournament, but would come back even better as a sophomore.
His second season saw a bumpier start than his first, going scoreless his first three games before exploding with two goals against Holy Cross and two more against St. Cloud State. He would record his first (and only) collegiate hat trick in November at home against Maine, and outside of those first three games of the season, was held pointless in only two more games the rest of the season (points in 22 of 27 games).
For much of this past season, Madden was the straw that stirred the Huskies drink, the engine that made their offense click and continue to motor; every night, you knew you were getting something from Tyler Madden. He provided the spark for the Huskies yet again in the Beanpot Final against BU, starting an explosive four-goal second period with a goal in the first two minutes that got the Huskies out of a rut and on their path towards a third straight Beanpot.
Tyler Madden’s twisted wrister makes is 2-1 in Beanpot final. Madden (@Canucks 3rd rounder) is a Hobey Baker candidate. 18 goals in 26 games. Would think he will turn pro after Northeastern’s season. pic.twitter.com/e1e41hjSS4— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) February 11, 2020
Unfortunately, the Beanpot Final would prove to be Madden’s second-to-last game for the Huskies. His final one was a 3-0 victory over UMass-Lowell, in which Madden scored the opening (and game-winning) goal, but in the final sixty seconds, Madden caught a slap shot in his upper extremity, causing him to end the game in significant pain and miss each of the Huskies’ subsequent games. There were hopes that he would return for either the season finale against BU or the Hockey East playoffs, but that reality never materialized. Madden would miss the final seven games of the season, and finish the year on a ten-game points streak.
While Madden’s season came to a disappointing end due to injury and the suspension of play, the fact that it ended for him in victory and him giving up the body for the benefit of the team is a testament to his growth as a hockey player while at Northeastern. Not someone to rest on his offensive laurels, he grew leaps and bounds as a defensive player his second season, in shot blocking, stick checking, physicality, and, to use a hockey cliche, grittiness. Madden has never been shy about talking smack or standing up for himself or teammates on the ice, and as he matured in his second year, he developed a more well-rounded, team-based game to back himself up with. This is the attitude and development of a player who will succeed and thrive at the professional level, someone who gets better in every aspect of their game, while not letting what they are good at dull and fall by the wayside.
Northeastern shuts out UMass Lowell four days after winning Beanpot. Tyler Madden gets his 19th. He’s my @HobeyBakerAward leader, a smidge ahead of North Dakota’s Jordan Kawaguchi. The Hobey will go right down to the wire and it will be a close vote. pic.twitter.com/FAFiBbqnqf— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) February 15, 2020
Tyler Madden left his mark on Northeastern in ways beyond highlight reels and goal celebrations. He is the latest in a long line of players who have continued to elevate the program’s culture and bar of success. For as much as we as fans hate to lose a player of his magnitude and talent, we have no doubt that he is leaving the program in a better state than it was when he arrived. Northeastern will forever be grateful for the time Tyler Madden spent at Matthews Arena, and we will be rooting for him to thrive in Ontario in the AHL and look forward to him debuting in Los Angeles in the not-too-distant future.
Tyler Madden was a winner at every step of his Northeastern journey. We thank him for the memories and the heart, passion, and excitement he played with while wearing the Northeastern red and black, and can’t wait to see where his hockey journey goes next. Congratulations Tyler!