Tim Traber of Quesnel knows hard work and dedication to the game will help realize his dream of making the National Hockey League.
He began hockey at the age of three, skating on the natural ice surface in Kersley and has never looked back.
Traber, who completed his third season in the National League A, the top tier of the Swiss hockey league system is coming off an injury plagued season with the Geneve-Servette Hockey Club, where he only suited up for nine games during the season but came on strong during the teams playoff run.
“The last few years have been tough because I’ve been injured for almost two seasons,” Traber said.
“I had knee surgery last year which pretty much put me out the whole year, but I did play the last seven games and playoffs. We had a really good playoff run and for my career it was a big step moving forward because I was playing big minutes and playing on the top line.”
He said the adjustment from hockey in North America to Europe was a big difference because of the size of the ice, which is 200 feet long by 100 compared to the North American rinks which are 200 feet by 85.
“At the start it was a drastic change and you definitely have to adjust your game because it’s faster,” Traber said.
“Everyone who is coming from North America has to adjust their style of play. Obviously in Europe it isn’t as heavy a style of game as it is in North America.”
Traber is a big presence on the ice as he stands 6’2 and weighs 200 pounds and considers that a big asset to his game, but says he is always trying to improve his skill set.
“I’m a physical guy who has a big presence in front of the net,” Traber said.
“I went to Europe to develop my skill set and learn the game better and I think in the long run playing in Switzerland will help me for sure.”
“I want to continue to learn more of the finesse game. I had a great opportunity at the end of last season to do that, which drastically improved my game.”
He says although there is an adjustment coming from North America, the style of coaching is all the same and they expect you to perform each night.
“You’re a professional and you get held accountable for your actions,” Traber said.
“You are getting paid to play so you better show up and work. It’s not junior anymore, it’s a business.”
Traber said his time in Switzerland was a great experience.
“My family is all Swiss so I knew a lot about Switzerland already,” Traber said.
“Living in Geneva was hard at the start, being in that european lifestyle but now it’s a lot better.”
As he moves forward in his career he looks to secure a professional try out with an NHL club and continue on with his dream of making the NHL.
Traber is another local product who is showing the hockey world what Quesnel hockey is all about.