Gary Dorland

Washe’s will to win rubs off on the Clippers


Tim Washe is eager to hit the ground running.

The six-foot-three power forward for the Nanaimo Clippers is as driven as anybody across the BCHL to hoist the Fred Page Cup.

After COVID-19 put a damper on what looked to be a very promising playoff run, Washe and the Clippers are trying to make up for lost time and have come out of the gates with a hot start to the extended pre-season.

With a good mix of young and old, the Clippers seem primed to make it back-to-back years atop of the Island Division.

“There are only three other teams we are playing right now, but it’s good to get back out on the ice because most of us weren’t skating for four or five months. So it’s been really good and we are having a lot of fun.”

“We are honestly playing for last year’s guys too because they didn’t get a chance, their season ended too early, so we are trying to get out there, play for them and do it all over again and hopefully go farther.”

In his rookie season, Washe quickly gained the reputation of being a force to reckon in the BCHL, garnering 19 points in 55 games to go along with 95 penalty minutes.

The Detroit, Michigan product strives to be an honest player.

“I pride myself on being a two-way forward who can win draws in every zone. I just want to work hard at everything, speed, strength, and jump a level next year.”

Growing up in the Motor City

Like most kids, Washe came up through the minor hockey ranks in his home state where he ended up playing five seasons with the Victory Honda program (13U-18U). Washe grew up a Red Wings fan, and his favourite player was Henrik Zetterberg.

His best season before making his way to Vancouver Island came in 2018-19 when he compiled 10 goals and 21 assists in 27 games. Washe notes the level of hockey in Michigan is nothing to scoff at.

“You have a lot of great teams, right? You have your Little Caesars, Honeybaked, and lots of good competition growing up. We did lots of travelling going somewhere cool like California, Arizona, or playing out east a lot, like in Boston and you get a good sense of high level hockey.”

“When you are going out in showcases and tournaments, you meet coaches and scouts and they introduce you to a team and different leagues. We have a lot of different leagues in the States and out in Canada so you get pamphlets and talk about where they are from. I think it was out in Boston in my first U18 year where I spoke to a BCHL scout and they gave me a rundown of the league and that it is a high-level of junior A.”

As luck would have it, Washe grew up playing against former Clippers forward and current Lake Superior State University freshman Tyler Williams.

“He played two years here in Nanaimo and he gave me a call in the offseason telling me what it’s like to play (here) and it sounded really cool. There are a lot of guys that are going to the USHL or the BCHL so it’s kind of cool to play with and against them.”

Following in Paul’s footsteps

Washe didn’t have to look very far to find someone to look up to in hockey. His older brother Paul carved out a successful path, which led him to the NCAA.

Paul split his last four years of bantam and midget hockey with Little Caesars and Victory Honda. From there, Paul spent time with the US national team development program along with a lengthy stay in the USHL playing with the Fargo Force, Tri-City Storm, and Dubuque Fighting Saints.

He is now in his final season at Western Michigan University where he is the team captain.

“Paul, as well as my dad, got me into hockey and it was always fun watching him (Paul) play. He is three years older than me and I always wanted to make my steps in a similar direction as he did. I like to think I look up to him a lot,” explained Washe.

The younger Washe will also suit up for Western Michigan, starting in the 2021-22 season.

The 19-year-old also enjoys the change in climate on Vancouver Island. Washe laughs that there is quite a difference between Nanaimo and Michigan.

“It doesn’t snow as much out here, especially on the Island, a lot of rain. Back home in Michigan we are used to a lot of snow storms and I think we only had one out here last year so that was a little different. It’s pretty cool being by the ocean, there is no ocean back home – the salty-air smell is pretty awesome.”