Maxy's Odyssey: Tyler Maxwell's Journey from Young Phenom to Budding Coach.

Tyler Maxwell running a practice.

Maxwell coaching at an off-season workout skate in Anaheim, Calif. (Photo: Anthony Ciardelli)

It’s 9:30 a.m. and Tyler Maxwell is lacing up his skates. When asked, Maxwell, 27, can’t remember the last day he hasn’t entered a hockey rink.

Today is a rare occasion, he will only be skating once, in Anaheim. On a normal day, Maxwell runs clinics and camps, skates in pickup games, and coaches youth and college teams sometimes at three different arenas around Los Angeles and Orange counties.

This skate is interesting in its own right.

As the Zamboni clears the ice, a handful of players filter out of the locker room and circle the rink.

One player is sporting Minnesota Wild practice attire. Yet another is wearing a helmet with a Las Vegas Golden Knights logo affixed to it and one more is wearing Washington Capitals gear.

Maxwell steps onto the ice and players gather around to hear him explain the first drill.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Pateryn and recent Stanley Cup Finalist Luca Sbisa stand next to each other listening to the instructions. Seconds later, Jets prospect Brendan Lemieux joins the group.

Also standing in the group is a smattering of Russian players, including Capitals first-round pick Alexander Alexeyev. Another player wearing a Russian jersey is not a Russian at all, but U.S. Olympian Jonathon Blum, who spent last season playing in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

Tyler Maxwell running a practice.

Maxwell discussing a drill with during his off-season workout skate. (Photo: Anthony Ciardelli)

For Maxwell, leading an offseason skate for professional and college players isn’t a novelty. He does it pretty regularly. At 27 years old, Maxwell could be in the prime of a successful NHL career. Instead, he’s found his calling as a coach.

Maxwell just barely missed achieving the dream of reaching the NHL but has still caused ripple effects throughout the hockey world since he was a child.

The Gretzky Generation

Maxwell’s parents immersed him in the game early. “The Wayne Gretzky craze was when I started playing and going to Kings' games at the forum,” Maxwell said. “I wanted to play roller hockey in the parking lot, at the church next door, you get that hockey bug and then you just eat, sleep and breathe it.”

Maxwell quickly took to ice hockey and for the next 10 years, he played with older boys, and still imposed his will on the game. His teammates included other locals whose futures would take them to the NHL including Rocco Grimaldi, Beau Bennett, Jason Zucker, Matt Nieto and Emerson Etem. The teams he competed for traveled the country, rudely informing purists that California hockey was not a myth.

“Everywhere we went they were like, ‘There's ice in California?’ We're like, ‘No, there’s not.’ This is our first time,” Maxwell said sarcastically. “We’d have a chip on our shoulder. Everyone would be chirping us and jealous of us because we’re living in a great place and playing a sport that they called theirs.”

That success culminated with a national championship as a Bantam playing on the LA Selects in 2006.

After that successful season, Maxwell impressed at local and regional select camps enough to earn an invite to the USA Hockey National Team Development Program 40-man camp. He had a buffet of options to pursue his future in hockey, all very enticing. “I was getting booklets from all the Ivy League schools, all the Big Ten schools, all the WCAC schools, and it was like I had my pick of the litter,” Maxwell said.

Maxwell and his family chose a college hockey powerhouse, the University of Denver Pioneers, who were 7-time national champions at that point.

There was, however, another option and it may have changed Maxwell’s future; major junior.

Seeing Maxwell’s potential, the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips made a huge push.

“They wined and dined us,” Maxwell said. “They were just very, very, very steadfast on me changing my decision. They followed me to the national camp, and they kept making offers. They were giving me gear. It was very, very professional.”

Besides the top-notch facilities and five-star treatment, the appeal of playing a packed 72-game schedule in the world’s most competitive under-20 league was too much to turn down. “I’m a gamer,” Maxwell said. “The USHL schedule and the college schedule were so much less games.”

According to Maxwell, the Silvertips offered him another deal to sway him from the NCAA route. “School was really important to me,” Maxwell said. “They promised that if NHL or high-level pro doesn’t work, then they're going to pay for my school of choice, which was UCLA.”

It was the best of both worlds for Maxwell, whose parents and agent also thought the WHL would be his best option. It seemed like an airtight plan.

Major WHL success and Major WHL Controversy

Maxwell arrived in Everett as a 16-year-old and quickly made an impact.

After brief stints on the third and fourth lines, head coach John Becanic matched Maxwell with two other rookies, Kellan Tochkin and Byron Froese. The line that would be dubbed the “Kid Line” became a motor for the Silvertips combining for 177 points in the 2008-09 season. Maxwell scored 22 goals and added 24 assists that year.

That success didn’t come without pain. In a midseason game, Maxwell blocked a shot off the stick of Vancouver Giants’ defenseman Brent Regner.

Maxwell’s knee instantly felt the impact of what he says was close to a 100 mile-per-hour slapshot. “Immediately I went to the bench and I was like cussing, but I wasn't going to take myself out,” Maxwell said. “I tried to go back out and I couldn't. I went to the locker room. The trainer was having me do squats. I felt pain, but I didn't want to come out. The trainer pretty much called me a pussy and so I just kept playing,” he said.

For a player in the middle of a successful season — he was at one point during that 2008-09 campaign ranked 152nd among North American Skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau — sitting out games due to injury can be a major setback.

Worried about what a prolonged recovery would do to his chances of being drafted, Maxwell played seven games on a knee he knew wasn’t right. “I had five points in seven games, so I was still producing,” he said. “I was literally just hobbling out there.”

But when the pain of skating became too much to take, Maxwell requested an X-ray, which he says was denied.

Finally, he snapped at his coach.

“I just had enough, and I screamed at him and shot a puck near him, because I can aim my shot wherever,” Maxwell said. “I would hit him if I wanted to hit him. I got off the ice and I demanded x-rays. Then we went to the doctor and they're like, ‘Yes, you have a fractured patella.’ The trainer is like, ‘Oh, wow. We got a warrior here.’ I'm like, ‘You think?’”

Maxwell’s medical forms back up his diagnosis. The doctor who examined his knee came to the conclusion that Maxwell suffered from a “Patella fracture with a slight displacement,” meaning that his kneecap had broken and that the pieces weren’t properly aligned. The doctor suggested immediate surgery to insert screws into Maxwell’s kneecap, which would take a month to recover from before he could resume skating. Maxwell agreed and had the screws put in.


Medical Diagnosis on Maxwell's injured knee. Testimony about his injury and his subsequent treatment by the Everett Silvertips staff at the time has become a central part in the discussion of whether major junior hockey players are professional or amateur. (Photo: Tyler Maxwell)

Testimony and Controversy

The Silvertips trainer at the time did not respond to a request for comment. The WHL, however, hired an independent investigator to probe the allegations made by Maxwell, when in February 2018, he testified against legislation proposed in Oregon.

The bill, HB 4093 was put forth by owners of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks in an attempt to classify their players as amateurs, exempting the team from the potential of having to pay them minimum wage.

In Maxwell’s testimony, he recounted his treatment after the knee injury.

Craig Callens, the WHL’s investigator and a retired deputy commissioner for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, determined that Maxwell’s experiences were, “Not systemic to the League or to a particular team. In all but one of the cases, the players were either aware of the terms of the agreements or there was insufficient, and at times no evidence, to establish the allegation.”

The one allegation that was substantiated was leveled by Kim Taylor, the mother of a former WHL player.

Callens also harshly criticized Maxwell for his statements about the injury and other issues he had with the WHL.

“What is not reasonable is to make comments that are not fact-based, that are misleading, unnecessarily provocative and inflammatory, or are inconsistent with the agreements that were signed in the presence of a parent in which the player, and the parent, indicated that they understood the content,” Callens wrote. “To do so undermines the credibility of the player and the integrity of whatever agenda may be influencing their conduct.”

Maxwell is sticking to his statements. “Why would I lie? I wasn’t getting any monetary gain,” he said. “They were serving their own self-interest,” Maxwell said. “It sucks that they don’t believe us but why would we make that up? It sucks that they would try to gloss it over or minimize it because it happened, and they can’t change that.”

In fact, his, and other former players’ testimony moved Oregon Senator Sara Gelser so much, she said she regretted paying to see the Portland Winterhawks, Oregon’s only WHL team, play.

Thanks to Maxwell and other former WHL players, HB 4093 was shot down.

As a result of his statements, Maxwell has also found himself at the center of a major controversy involving the WHL, its member leagues, and former and current players about whether they should be considered professional or amateur.

In an interview with Vice Sports, former Hockey Canada media relations manager Francis Dupont said, “Hockey Canada considers the CHL to be an amateur league and CHL teams to offer the highest level of non-professional hockey competition in Canada, administrated as a development program under the auspices of Hockey Canada."

However, as Ken Campbell of The Hockey News points out, the CHL has described their service to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office as, “Operation of a hockey league and entertainment services through participation in professional and amateur ice hockey contests, and promotion and benefit thereof…”

The distinction between professional and amateur has spawned litigation and legislation in the United States and Canada. There are individual class-action lawsuits in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec against the WHL, Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League respectively. The implications are big for CHL teams. If they lose, they may be forced to pay current and former players minimum wage, vacation pay and overtime pay as well as punitive damages.

However, Alberta judge ruled in June that members of WHL teams based in the US can’t join the class-action lawsuit against the league because the Canadian court does not have jurisdiction over the U.S. Additionally, Washington State does have a law classifying WHL players as amateurs, so Maxwell cannot join the lawsuits.

Speedy Recovery

Maxwell says his desperation to play in the playoffs pushed him to return from his knee injury in half the normal recovery period.

The choice would result in permanent damage to his knee. “I still have screws in my knee,” Maxwell said. “Do you think if I got it fixed now, they [The Silvertips] would pay for it?

While he shoulders most of the blame for returning too quickly, he wishes his coaches had thought about the repercussions as well, especially because the Silvertips were not contenders that season. “I really wish that the trainers and coaches were like, ‘You know what, we want to better your future. We're in it for the long haul and not the quick buck,” he said. “We want your knee to heal right."

Following that 2008-09 season, Maxwell attended the draft. He never heard his own name called.

He believes his disagreements with Silvertips coaching and training staff during his first WHL season played a role in the decision of NHL teams not to draft him. “I feel like I was kind of being blackballed because I was outspoken,” he said. “When I saw something was wrong, I spoke up. I feel like my character was questioned, and I was blackballed at the draft.”

Despite the draft snub, the Los Angeles Kings invited Maxwell to attend their 2009 training camp. On his first day, Maxwell tried to stifle his awe at the company he found himself with.

“[Anze] Kopitar and [Ryan] Smyth were the first line on our team and [Dustin] Brown; it was pretty surreal,” Maxwell said. “I'm stretching around the neutral zone, and Smyth is in the middle of leading a stretch, and I'm like just trying to pinch myself. It was great. It was short-lived, but it was great.”

Unfortunately, the Kings released Maxwell from his tryout, which he attributes partially to his knee injury. He returned to the Silvertips for two more full seasons and part of a third and would also receive an invite to Minnesota Wild training camp in 2011 but did not make the roster.

During his time in Everett, Maxwell set the franchise record for goals scored with 107, which stood until 2018. By Maxwell ‘s third season in Everett, he wanted out and requested a trade, which the Silvertips denied. As a 20-year-old, Maxwell again requested a trade from a struggling Silvertips team.

Instead, general manager Doug Soetaert sent him home, claiming he was a negative influence in the locker room.

But the suspension benefited Maxwell’s personal life. During his week-long hiatus from the WHL, Maxwell returned home to Southern California where he met the woman who, just two months later, would become his fiancé and support pillar, Chanel Mcnaught.

To Chanel, a hockey rink was a foreign place. “I knew nothing about the sport,” she said. “I learned how to ice skate pretty young, but I barely knew there was such thing as hockey.”

But Chanel was impressed enough by Maxwell’s skill that she overcame one major aversion to hockey, especially when he skated in his head-to-toe green Everett Silvertips practice gear. “I personally hate the cold,” she said. “But having to go watch him at the rink, it was…it was fun, I got used to it. At the beginning it was sexy to watch him play, it’s an intense sport.”

“She said I looked like a fast flying booger,” Maxwell said.

Oil Kings of the West

On Nov. 24, 2011, Thanksgiving Day, a week after the Silvertips sent him home, they announced that Maxwell had been traded to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

The Oil Kings had started the season well and were about to go on a rampage.

Following Maxwell’s arrival in Edmonton, the team reeled off 10 consecutive wins. Including their win over Lethbridge before Maxwell’s arrival, the team won 11 straight games. They went on a second 11-game win streak to close out the regular season and first overall in the WHL standings. Maxwell was a major factor.

The Oil Kings played their way into the WHL finals and battled the Portland Winterhawks where Maxwell figured prominently in Game 7. His first-period goal put the Oil Kings up 2-1 on the way to an eventual 4-1 victory and the Ed Chynoweth Cup as WHL Champion.

Evidence of Maxwell’s accomplishment with the Oil Kings eventually ended up in one of the two places that all hockey players dream about. No, his name is not carved into a ring of the Stanley Cup, but his stick went somewhere.

“The equipment manager came up to me, he's like, ‘I need one of your sticks,’” Maxwell said. He was shocked to find out where it was going. “’For the Hall of Fame, they're going to do some exhibit at the hall of fame with your stick.’"

“I was like, ‘Okay, have them take one I don't use.’ I'm keeping that one, I have that one still,” Maxwell said.

Going Pro, For Real This Time

After aging out of major junior, Maxwell had options for his first season of professional hockey.

Though there was speculation of an NHL lockout, Maxwell couldn’t know for sure that it would come to pass, and either way, he had something else on his mind. “I was after dollar signs,” he said. “I didn’t look that far ahead, I could’ve signed on an AHL team, but the offer was less than the Austrian team.”

Maxwell settled on EC Red Bull Salzburg, of Austria’s top league. He arrived in Europe 10 days after he finished with the Oil Kings.

Things changed drastically for Maxwell in a short amount of time. He had never even traveled to Europe, and now he was living there. On top of that, he now had a fiancé, having proposed to Chanel.

Luckily, he and Chanel enjoyed life in Austria, and the team made things comfortable for him. “We were living in the heart of Salzburg like 10 minutes from downtown; we biked everywhere,” Maxwell said. “The team gave us a car and switched it out every month for a new car. As a 21-year-old, that's freshly engaged. It's a pretty cool thing. They’re a first-class organization. It's an experience that I would never change,” Maxwell said.

But on Sept. 15, 2012, NHL owners and Commissioner Gary Bettman locked out their players causing a chain reaction throughout professional hockey.

Young NHL players suited up in the AHL. The resulting influx of NHL players forced AHL teams to jettison some of their players to the ECHL.

Other NHL players stayed sharp on European teams, such as the Red Bulls.

“It was like a revolving door [of NHL players,]” Maxwell said. “We had Derick Brassard, Johnny Boychuck, Toby Enstrom, Derek Dorsett, Alex Auld, Robbie Schremp. I got to play with some amazing players and I’m just a rookie import.”

That, however, meant Maxwell was at the bottom of the totem pole, and the influx of big names forced him out of the lineup in spite of his production.

The team agreed to buy Maxwell out and from there, he moved to the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies, then the Bakersfield Condors, then the Ontario Reign. Maxwell skated in one game before the Reign’s season ended.

That made four teams in less than a year.

“Then I was kind of screwed because I played for four teams in one year,” Maxwell said. “Everyone's like, ‘Why is he a suitcase?’ (slang for a player who can’t stick with one team) It wasn't because of anything besides bad luck and the lockout.”

To find stability, Maxwell returned to Europe.

Italian Pride

Before the 2013-14 season, Maxwell accepted an offer to play in Italy for the Valpellice Bulldogs.

The Bulldog’s coach at the time, Mike Flanagan, remembered hearing that Maxwell would join the team. Although he didn’t know Maxwell personally, he had some familiarity with Southern California players and the skill level they possessed.

What impressed Flanagan about Maxwell was the maturation he experienced in Italy, especially taking care of a young family. The Maxwells’ first child, son Ryder, was born in January 2014.

Tyler and Chanel Maxwell and their son Ryder.

Tyler Maxwell and his wife Chanel with their son Ryder in 2014 (Photo: Tyler Maxwell)

Flanagan witnessed a shift in Maxwell during that season. “Things change when you have a baby,” Flanagan said. “Relationships change, responsibilities change. Tyler went from being an old kid to a young man. His maturity really blossomed and as a coach that was really great to see.”

Maxwell valued his time in Italy, including its welcoming hockey fans. “The team is so community-enriched. There are so many sponsors. I could have had dinner at another family's house every night. They would just shower you with food and gifts and wine, which is pretty cool.”

Flanagan noticed Maxwell’s appreciation for hockey fans in Italy as well. “Some guys just want to play hockey, they’re not interested in mingling with the fans,” said Flanagan. “Tyler knew the community cared about the team. He would spend time hanging out with fans. He knew people were paying to see him play and he wanted to give back.”

Part of what Maxwell appreciated about Italian fans was their passion. Soccer-style fans were a mainstay in the Italian league. “It will be freezing cold in the arena in Milan and you look down on their side and you have 300 shirtless men with paint on them, screaming the whole entire game,” Maxwell said. “It's so cold in that rink and I'm like, ‘How the hell?’”

That familiarity and friendliness endeared him toward fans in every city he played in. It’s not unusual, even a few years after his retirement, to see fans of his previous teams wishing him well on Facebook.

Though he only stayed there for a year, Maxwell’s time in Italy helped excite him about the game again. He finished his season in Italy with 46 points in 32 games. “I kind of got rejuvenated,” Maxwell said. That earned him yet another offer to try out for an NHL team, this time it was the New York Islanders and their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Back to America

Maxwell’s on-ice performance mirrored his newfound energy. He scored five points in two exhibition games with the Islanders and the Sound Tigers, and when the preseason ended, Maxwell was assigned to the Islanders ECHL affiliate, the Stockton Thunder.

Unfortunately, after a 51-point season with the Thunder, Maxwell had to hit the road again.

To make player movement between leagues more efficient and to bring some AHL teams closer to their NHL affiliates, the ECHL and AHL announced major realignments in 2015. In one move, the Calgary Flames purchase the franchise rights to the Thunder from the Islanders and moved them to Glens Falls, N.Y.

This was bad news for Maxwell.

“I have a 1-year-old and a wife who is tired of traveling,” Maxwell said. “I was tired of traveling too.” He requested a trade, which only made things harder. The Thunder traded him to Anchorage, Alaska, where he suited up for the Alaska Aces.

Wanting to continue his professional hockey career and having some familiarity with his new teammates — there were several other Southern Californians on the team — Maxwell convinced himself to accept the trade. But life in Alaska was difficult.

“it was really tough on us mostly because of the road trips,” Maxwell said. “We'd have three-week road trips and my family, and my son wants to play outside and it's really cold.”

“Alaska was a trip, we weren’t used to it, it was a little depressing,” Chanel said. “On road trips, it was literally just me and Ryder. The other girlfriends would go out and party. We didn’t really mesh well because I was a young mom, it was hard for me to find people to connect with.”

The Maxwells again requested a trade and landed in Toledo, Ohio, where Maxwell played for the Walleye.

The end of the 2015-16 ECHL season marked the end of Tyler Maxwell’s professional hockey career, but another career was just beginning.

Careers End and Begin Again.

Going back to his time in the WHL, Maxwell had long taught at hockey clinics. It started off as supplemental income when he was strapped for cash, which was often then.

“I was driving 40 minutes to practice and back in a Suburban Z71 burning all my gas,” he said. “All the money that I made, I spent on gas. I had no extra money. I had to ask my parents for money. Everywhere I went, I would have to do lessons.”

As Maxwell’s career was wrapping up, he and Chanel Maxwell embraced the chance to settle down but still stick with the life Maxwell knew best, hockey.

For Chanel, it was a welcome change, but she thinks her husband still has it, “We settled because of the children, it’s easier,” she said. “We have a great opportunity here with the camps and everything, but he still has it. He could totally still play pro.”

From his own camp, named Maxwell Hockey Camp, to coaching youth clubs in Orange County including the Junior Ducks and OC Hockey Club, Maxwell still spends most of his time in hockey rinks.

He also jumped right into college hockey.

It started by getting to know some of his future players.

Maxwell invited Travis Schwartz, who was a sophomore on USC’s club hockey team to skate at one of his pickup scrimmages. Schwartz was immediately impressed with the intensity. “Being from New York I didn’t have any idea who the guy was,” Schwartz said. “It was a good skate, he was getting really good players out and I got a lot better that summer skating with him every day.”

Before USC could hire him, UCLA gave Maxwell an opportunity as their assistant coach in 2016.

Schwartz’ teammate at USC, Jack D’anna saw Maxwell’s coaching impact on the Trojans’ rival immediately.

“My first two years at USC, UCLA was bad, we kind of handled them every year,” D’Anna said. “All of a sudden they’re running systems, matching lines, they were adjusting, and it was kind of like night and day.”

That instant boost propelled UCLA to a Crosstown Cup, awarded to the winner of the best-of-five season series between the Trojans and Bruins, as well as a Pac-8 title.

The following season, Schwartz and D’Anna convinced their team’s general manager to hire Maxwell away from UCLA. He is now in his second season as the Trojan head coach.

Maxwell coaching the University of Southern California at a 2018 practice. (Photo: Anthony Ciardelli)

The caliber of player that Maxwell coaches ranges widely. It’s not only youth and college players who seek out his instruction but pros.

“He’s very knowledgeable,” Wild defenseman Greg Pateryn said. “He’s also into learning all the time from us too and designing drills around what we need. He’s still a student of the game.”

Minnesota Wild Defenseman Greg Pateryn during a drill at Maxwell's off-season workout in Anaheim (Photo: Anthony Ciardelli)

Winnipeg Jets prospect Lemieux also values his time on the ice with Maxwell. “…we’ve always come to his skates,” he said. “It’s probably the best skate around in California, in Orange County at least.”

Blum, a California native, has known Maxwell since their youth hockey days in Southern California. “It’s nice to see him teaching the younger kids in California as well, developing those guys,” Blum Said. “He competes hard and he does some drills out there where you’ve got to battle.”

Blum participating in a drill during (Photo: Anthony Ciardelli)

For many of these players, their offseason workouts mean all that much more because they are looking for jobs. During the summer Lemieux was hoping to make the Jets roster full-time after appearing in nine games last season (he made it) while Blum is looking for another team after moving on from HC Sochi of the KHL.

After making it within three games of winning the Stanley Cup with the Las Vegas Golden Knights, Sbisa was also trying to catch onto the New York Islanders. He succeeded, receiving a one-year contract from New York.

“I used to play against him in juniors; I’ve known him for a long time,” Sbisa said. “The guy always goes 100 percent and what he does he does right. He’s fully committed, and you see it in his skates, even though it’s the summer he wants you to go at it with a lot of intensity, it makes everyone better.”

Washington Capitals Prospect Alex Alexeyev prepares for a drill. (Photo: Anthony Ciardelli)

Maxwell’s coaching appeals to recent draftees as well, including Washington Capitals first-rounder Alexander Alexeyev. The six-foot-4, 200-pound Russian and his agent Gary Greenstein find Maxwell’s skates invaluable. “We’re very pleased he’s available,” Greenstein said. “We skate here twice a week and we want more. The guys are very comfortable with him.”

It’s not just high-level players Maxwell connects with. He coaches camps for children of all ages. “Tyler can teach anyone from young kids on up,” said Flanagan, Maxwell’s former coach in Italy. “He’s a great communicator because he loves the game and he wants to give back and make people passionate about the game.”

Maxwell’s services are in such high demand, he’s putting some serious mileage on his beloved Audi SUV. He notched 2,200 miles in just one month on his odometer just from driving around Southern California for camps and clinics. For a little perspective, that’s three round-trips from Los Angeles to San Francisco in one month.

“I Just feel like I can share my knowledge that I've picked up,” Maxwell said. “I know these kids are hungry and they're passionate for the game. The main thing that I want to do is really grow the game in the community that I'm from because that's kind of been the goal ever since I started coaching at 18.”

When asked what the most important thing is that a young player should learn, Maxwell responds with the confidence that only his own personal experience could bring.

“Mental toughness,” he said. “It's not an easy game. There's going to be a lot of highs and lows and you got to just keep striving and have a goal and try to reach it.”

Maxwell also has another suggestion, because one of those downs included sacrificing his best chance at higher education. Since he played professionally as long as he did, his WHL scholarship offer was voided. Maxwell understands the opportunity he sacrificed and wants players to make the right choice when they have the option.

“The goal should be to be a college athlete,” he said. “Whether that's D1, D3, ACHA, wherever you can get your education and still compete at a high level and play the best sport.”

Even if he advises others to take a different road than he took as a teenager, Maxwell wouldn’t change a thing, “I don't live life with regrets, everything is an experience,” he said. “if I changed something then I wouldn't be where I am.”

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