He was just 17 years old, a kid with plenty to prove after being drafted in the second round over the summer.
Now, the Conception Bay South, N.L., native, who spent last season with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, may be coming back to the Hubtown.
Tibbo has announced his intentions to leave the Wildcats, after playing in just one of the team’s three games to start the season.
Bearcats coach and general manager Shawn Evans confirmed the news on Saturday night following the home opener.
“I can confirm that’s the case. I have spoke to him but I don’t know what his situation is going to be. He has some decisions to make.”
Per league rules, Tibbo cannot be traded within the QMJHL this early in the season. He can request to be placed on waivers, which would make him available to any team in the major junior league. The Wildcats would be obligated to grant him that request. He can also ask to be sent down to the Bearcats immediately, which will not require waivers.
Where he ends up, Evans isn’t sure.
“He’s being reassigned somewhere. Would we love to have him? Absolutely. But he has choices to make and we’re waiting on his decisions.”
Tibbo was a key player in the Bearcats run to the Fred Page Cup in 2013-2014, scoring 11 goals in 14 MHL playoff games. He’d also be reunited with fellow CBS native Riley Baggs.
“We grew up in the same town and I played a lot with him up through minor hockey,” Baggs said. “It would be huge. I mean he played here as a 17-year-old and dominated the league so I can’t imagine him coming here now as a 19-year-old. He’s a great guy with great skill. It’d be huge for us.”
It would also make for an interesting situation with current holdout Liam Hynes. The Bearcats acquired the 20-year-old high-scoring forward at this summer’s draft for the rights to Jacob Smith. Hynes opted not to report to camp and is not playing hockey this year. A native of Paradise, N.L., he and Tibbo played minor hockey together and attended the Hill Academy in Ontario at the same time.
Evans said he has not spoken to Hynes since before the start of training camp. The Bearcats opened the season with 21 players, leaving two free roster spots for future moves.