Surrey Eagles add trio of forwards for next season

BC Hockey League champs aim to restock roster for 2013/14 season

The Surrey Eagles have began replenishing the nest after their successful run to the RBC Cup last month.

On Thursday, the reigning BC Hockey League champions announced the signing of three forwards – 1994-born Dylan Plitt, Danton Heinen (1995) and Ryan Simpson (1996).

Plitt joins the Birds from Team Comcast U18, a New Jersey-based major-midget hockey program.

The Philadelphia native is already committed to the University of Vermont, where he’ll join a plethora of Eagles in time for the 2014-15 season; Brady Shaw, Michael Stenerson and Michael Santaguida, all from last year’s Eagles’ team, will play for Vermont this fall, and current Eagle Drew Best will join them in time for the 2014/15 season

“I’m really looking forward to playing for the Eagles,” said Plitt in a release. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about the coaching staff, and I’m hoping I can help the team out and hopefully win another championship.”

Last season, Plitt captained his Comcast crew, scoring 10 goals and adding 22 assists in 39 games.

Heinen comes to Surrey by way of the Keystone Cup champion Richmond Sockeyes Junior ‘B’ team. A Langley native, he finished 11th in Pacific International Junior Hockey League scoring last season, with 21 goals and 28 assists in 49 games. He added 29 more points in 25 postseason contests.

He also suited up for two games with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials last year.

The third player inked Thursday – Simpson – is from Abbotsford, but has Peninsula ties, having spent part of his childhood in White Rock.

The 17-year-old split last season between the Junior B Aldergrove Kodiaks and the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

“I’m really excited,” said Simpson of joining the Birds. “They’ve got a great coaching staff that’s had success and a good ownership group. Obviously they just won the BCHL title, and I grew up in White Rock, so I’m looking forward to it.”

The three additions will help restock a roster that is dealing with many openings. Seven members of last year’s team will move on to the NCAA next season, while three more would-be returnees – Kevan Killistoff, Jordan Klimek and Demico Hannoun – were traded after the season to complete earlier trades.

“The organization is very excited to add three highly sought after prospects to the Eagles program,” said Eagles coach and general manager Matt Erhart.

“Each player brings their own unique skill set, and all three are going to be key contributors for the team going forward.”

Earlier this off-season, the team also added 18-year-old forward Michael Roberts from the Vernon Vipers, while also inking defenceman Matthew Dawson, who played some games for the Eagles last year as an affiliate player.

The 16-year-old blue-liner was with the team on their run to the RBC Cup.

“Matthew performed beyond his years during our run to the RBC Cup, and we’re looking forward to him being a part of our team for the 2013-2014 season,” Erhart added.