This may be hard to believe, but there was a time not too long ago when Alex Tuch was a better virtual hockey player than he was a real one. It was a time when Tuch was leading the Boston College Eagles to the Frozen Four having been drafted 18th overall two years prior.
The time was 2016, when Alex Tuch, along with two fellow NHL prospects, ranked among the best players at EA Sports NHL 16.
Me and a few buddies in college, we were 12th in the world in online play. -Alex Tuch
Those buddies are Thatcher Demko, 36th overall pick in 2016 by Vancouver and starting goalie for the Utica Comets, and Austin Cangelosi, undrafted free agent currently in the New Jersey Devils system. They were two of the six top scorers and the starting goalie for one of the best NCAA hockey teams in the country, and they were even better on XBox.
Either one of us played or two of us played together. We worked our rank up and had about 400 games played. We would play when we had down time or didn’t have games. -Tuch
He doesn’t, however, attribute much of his video game success to his success on the real ice saying the video game doesn’t really teach much about the actual game. That being said, he did take at least one thing away from the hundreds of hours dominating nerds through the TV.
I had a breakaway in the game that I actually used last year. Backhand, forehand, backhand, it always worked in NHL (the video game) so I used it in a game. -Tuch
It’s what college kids do, play hockey, go to class, and play video games. -Tuch
And if you are Alex Tuch, you kick ass at all three. Well, at least two. I have no idea how he did in class, but frankly, who really cares when he’s putting up 30 points in his rookie season… in the real NHL.