Melbourne Mustangs defender Ty Wishart in action during a recent Pride game in the AIHL. (Photo: Phil Taylor Photographic; Design: Will Cuckson)

It’s not often that a former first round pick from the National Hockey League arrives to play in the Australian Ice Hockey League, but that is exactly what happened when the Melbourne Mustangs signed Ty Wishart prior to the 2022 season.

Drafted by the San Jose Sharks with the 16th overall selection, Wishart is now in his second season with the Mustangs where he is becoming a face of the franchise and taking on an off-ice role as Director of Hockey Operations.

Wishart was featured on the Net, Sticks and Chill podcast where he spoke about his future aspirations. Listen to the episode below.

“Chris Lawrence who had taken over the coaching position [in 2022], we have known each other for 16 years now,” Wishart told the Net, Sticks, and Chill Podcast.

“We had played together for Tampa’s [Tampa Bay Lightning] farm team actually, we lived together there, and he just approached me ‘he’s like hey what are you doing this summer do you want to come down to Australia’.

“And we had loved Australia from when I came for the Canada/US charity tournament back in 2015 I was here for that, and we loved it, thought we got nothing going on during the summers anyway so might as well come down.”

Wishart, 35, is thriving in the backend of his career in the AIHL picking up the Defensive Player of the Year for the 2022 season, while also picking up most points for a defenseman in the league.

Falling in love with the city of Melbourne, Wishart has his eyes set on guiding the Mustangs to their second Goodall Cup, and a chance at pulling on the green and gold of Australia is also on the Canadians radar.

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“We are obviously on a working visa right now,” continued Wishart.

“My wife actually she got sponsored by a company, so we are able to stay for at least the next two years, hopefully longer depending on things, if we can eventually get PR [permanent residency] that would be great.

“Because I would love to potentially, I don’t know if I have too many years left on the old body, but maybe play for the Aussie national team down the road but we will cross that bridge when we get there.”

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