Forward Holden Katzalay is among the newest members of the Surrey Eagles, after a flurry of roster moves over the last two weeks. (Garrett James photo)

Forward Holden Katzalay is among the newest members of the Surrey Eagles, after a flurry of roster moves over the last two weeks. (Garrett James photo)

Surrey Eagles add third goalie amid flurry of roster moves

BC Hockey League makes three-team deal, adds players cut from WHL

Blaine Neufeld has been busy.

Over the last two weeks, the Surrey Eagles general manager and his front office staff, including head coach Peter Schaefer, have pulled off a flurry of roster moves, highlighted by a three-team trade Wednesday that saw the team’s second-leading point-getter Eric Linell shipped to the Penticton Vees, with a pair of players – including another goaltender – coming to South Surrey.

In the multi-team deal, which also involved the Nanaimo Clippers, the Birds received 19-year-old forward Brady Lynn and 20-year-old goaltender Kyle Dumba from the Clippers. Dumba – who has experience in the BCHL with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks as well as in the Western Hockey League with a handful of teams – was a recent cut of the WHL’s Regina Pats.

• READ ALSO: Surrey Eagles change coaches a week from season start

• READ ALSO: Surrey Eagles make off-season roster moves

Dumba will join a crowded crease at South Surrey Arena, with longtime netminder Daniel Davidson and recent signee Cayden Bailey still on the roster. And for the time being, that won’t change, according to Neufeld.

The team will make the uncharacteristic move of carrying three goalies for the foreseeable future, he said, in the hopes that it fosters healthy competition.

“We’ll have to figure it out, but at the same time, we’ve got three guys who’ve proven they can win in this league now,” Neufeld told Peace Arch News. “Cayden has come in here of late and got our last two wins and done well, and Davidson got us our first win.

“I think bringing in Dumba, now you have some competition, and there’s going to be accountability for each guy. Now, you gotta be ready to go.”

Dumba will be the fourth goalie to suit up for the Eagles already this season. The team started the year with veteran Seth Eisele between the pipes, but after a rough start, he was released to make way for Bailey, a New York import.

“We’ve gone through a number of goalies in the past number of years, trying to find the right fit,” Neufeld said.

“We wanted to take a cautious approach with this. And if it works with three, great, and if it doesn’t, we’ll have to figure that out when the time comes, but for now, we have three guys now who can play.”

Moving Linell – who was acquired in the summer from Coquitlam and proved to be a strong source of offence for the club in the early weeks of the season – was made in part because the team felt it was dealing from a position of strength, considering Neufeld and company have brought in a slew of players with WHL experience in the last two weeks.

At the end of September, the team signed recent WHL cuts Holden Katzalay and Liam Ryan – both forwards – as well as blue-liner Ryan Miley, and last week added another forward, Delta native Justyn Gurney, who played the last two seasons with the Calgary Hitmen.

Gurney – a former member of the Valley West Hawks – scored two goals in his Eagles debut, leading his new team to a win over Coquitlam Oct. 3. The Eagles now have six players on their roster with major-junior experience.

“All these guys guys have proven that they can play significant minutes and have an impact in each game,” Neufeld said of the new additions.

In explaining the roster turnover further, Neufeld pointed out that most of the players on the Eagles’ roster to start the year were brought aboard before Schaefer took over as head coach from Brandon West, who resigned his post a week before the start of the regular season.

“A lot of these guys were guys Brandon looked at in a certain way, and now with an adjustment behind the bench, that perspective changes,” he explained. “It doesn’t mean one way is right and the other wrong – they can both be right – but the coach needs to get the most out of his players, and you need players to fit the coach’s style.

“When you have players who fit your style, you’re going to get more out of them.”

To make room for all the new players, a handful of players have also been moved out. Defenceman Perry Winfree was shipped to the Powell River Kings for future considerations; rookie Jason Chu was also dealt for futures, to the Prince George Spruce Kings, and rookie Matteo Pecchia was released, and signed with the junior ‘B’ North Vancouver Wolfpack.

As well, veteran forward Aaron White – an Ohio native – left the team for the United States Hockey League in order to play closer to home.

“My wife was out of town so I thought I’d keep myself busy,” Neufeld quipped, when asked about the flurry of roster moves.

Though the sample size with the new-look roster is small, Neufeld was nonetheless pleased – he called the Oct. 3 win over the Express “our best game of the year,” – and pointed out that the team had won three of its last five prior to hitting the ice for two games over the Thanksgiving weekend.

”And we probably should have, or could have, won all five of those games,” he continued.

“So we’re headed in the right direction, and we have a team now that we are certain can make some noise deep into the playoffs.”

BCHLSurrey Eagles

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

Just Posted

Items collected from last year’s Ocean Park Food Drive. (Contributed file photo)
Ocean Park Food Drive expands, open to residents south of 32 Avenue

Homeowners south of 32 Avenue and west of 160 Street encouraged to put donations on doorstep

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Missing man found safe, Surrey RCMP said

Riley Arnold- Higgenbottom was last seen at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 28 in the 18900-block of 69 A Avenue

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Kathy McIntyre

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

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

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Most Read