Justin Sourdif has continuously improved during his rookie, and possibly only, season with the Valley West Hawks. (Submitted photo)

Justin Sourdif has continuously improved during his rookie, and possibly only, season with the Valley West Hawks. (Submitted photo)

Sourdif shining among Surrey’s hockey talent

‘I think he’s going to play in the NHL,’ says coach

Surrey’s hockey future on the big stage sure looks bright.

We’ve already seen a couple of goalies start to make an impact this year with the likes of Tristan Jarry and Laurent Brossoit. Surrey native Jujhar Khaira is also playing the best hockey of his career with the Edmonton Oilers.

However, there’s a chance that 15-year-old Justin Sourdif could one of the most dynamic hockey players to ever come from the city.

There was a reason why he was drafted third overall in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft by the Vancouver Giants, a moment the young Surrey native won’t soon forget.

“I was really happy when it happened,” said Sourdif. “I get to stay home now and I’ve got lots of family to come see me. It’s just a great organization and I’ve been watching them ever since I was young. It’s a great honour.”

With his play in the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League this season, it’s plausible that Sourdif will make the jump sooner rather than later.

Valley West Hawks coach Rob Evers sure is high on Sourdif’s potential.

“Justin has been really good,” said Evers. “He’s one of the top players I’ve coached in 20 years.”

“I’ve never coached somebody who’s so tenacious at both ends of the ice.”

JustinSourdif

Evers believes that Sourdif could be playing regularly in the WHL right now, even as a 15-year-old.

“100% he’s WHL ready. Not only is he ready to play, he can contribute at every end of the ice and play in a top-nine role. I won’t be surprised if he’s an everyday contributor in the WHL next season.”

Sourdif was rewarded for his strong effort with the Hawks, by earning a call-up to the Vancouver Giants in November, where he played his first game for the franchise.

Even at such a young age, Sourdif already looks like someone who could be the complete package. He has the skills and the physical tools to go along with a high hockey IQ.

“My biggest strength is probably my decision making,” said Sourdif. “When I’m out on the ice I think I can make the right play. I can find the open man and I’m not afraid to put the puck in the net.”

The vision that Sourdif has shown on the ice this season has made him one of the top rookies in Major Midget Hockey. He’s seventh in league scoring, and he’s formed a dangerous duo with fellow rookie and teammate Cameron MacDonald.

The two players were able to showcase their skills together not just in the BCMML, but also in the 2017 WHL Cup. Both players were a key part of Team B.C. when they knocked off a perennial powerhouse Alberta Squad.

SEE ALSO: Team B.C. head coach proud of talent from Surrey and Delta

“Beating Alberta when we weren’t expected to was a pretty good feeling,” Sourdif said. “Everybody was clicking and I don’t think we could have played any better.”

Sourdif points to his chemistry with MacDonald as a factor in his success this season. Sourdif spoke about something that makes all coaches happy by saying he’s is especially proud of their defensive work.

“We mesh pretty good together, especially on the (penalty kill). I love going out with (MacDonald) and we don’t get scored on much. We’re doing pretty good as rookies.”

With the Hawks in the BCMML this season, Sourdif has been playing in all roles. Evers hasn’t been afraid to put him on the power play or the penalty kill, and he’s thriving in all situations.

“Probably the biggest progression for Justin is his ability to understand special teams responsibilities and adapt in regards to playing in a system,” Evers said. “Justin is capable of beating guys one-on-one, but eventually players have to play in a system.”

Sourdif noted that there was an adjustment period when he joined the Hawks, although you wouldn’t know by looking at his stat sheet with 36 points in 19 games.

“I think I’m doing pretty good,” he said. “It’s a lot faster than bantam and the guys are a lot bigger. At first, I was struggling a bit but I think I’ve gotten into a groove now.”

JustinSourdif

Now that he’s dominating as a rookie in the BCMML, the next question will be, can Sourdif crack the Giants roster as a 16-year-old?

“It all depends on how everything goes for the rest of the season and next summer. I want to get bigger and stronger and we’ll go from there.”

Strength and size are important for players as they move up the ranks. However, Sourdif has a skill set that can’t always be taught.

He also tries to emulate his game after some pretty notable players.

“I like Jonathan Toews and T.J. Oshie. Both are two-way players who know how to move the puck and know how to put the puck in the net. Both are just 200-foot players who I like to model myself after.”

While all hockey players have aspirations of making the NHL, Evers believes that Sourdif truly has the ability.

“In 20 years of coaching, this is the third time I’ve said that ‘I think he’s going to play in the NHL,’” said Evers.

Evers had a pretty staunch NHL comparable for young Sourdif.

“He plays the game a lot like Pavel Datsyuk. He’s somebody who is a complete player, a 200-foot player, and someone who is elusive when he plays the game.”

Evers earmarked Kyle Chipchura, a veteran of nearly 500 NHL games, as one of the guys who would make the NHL. The other was 17-year-old Surrey native Luka Burzan.

So far, Evers hasn’t been wrong yet.



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Trevor on Twitter

BC Major Midget LeagueJustin SourdifValley West Hawks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Justin Sourdif shows off his astute defensive game by poking the puck away during a game against the Vancouver NE Chiefs. (Trevor Beggs)

Justin Sourdif shows off his astute defensive game by poking the puck away during a game against the Vancouver NE Chiefs. (Trevor Beggs)

Justin Sourdif played in his first WHL game earlier this season. (Trevor Beggs)

Justin Sourdif played in his first WHL game earlier this season. (Trevor Beggs)

Just Posted

A tow truck works to pull a dump truck from a ditch at 176 Street and 40 Avenue, following a two-vehicle incident Tuesday (Jan. 19) afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Dump truck, car collide in South Surrey

Intersection – 176 Street and 40 Avenue – was site of 2019 fatal collision

An electric vehicle charging station in front of Hope’s municipal hall, district hall. (Photo: Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
40 electric vehicle charging stations planned for Surrey

Funding coming from all three levels of government

Township of Langley civic facility. (Langley Advance Times files)
Budget shortfall shrinking in Langley Township

Staff showed council a tightened up budget, without borrowing, on Monday

Police on the scene of a homicide in South Surrey’s Morgan Heights neighbourhood earlier this month. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Crime Stoppers received more than 500 tips related to gang activity in 2020: report

Metro Vancouver organization “urging local residents to keep providing anonymous tips”

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Most Read