The current BC Hockey League season has yet to begin, but the Surrey Eagles are already planning for the 2021-‘22 season after the signing of three major-midget teammates.
Earlier this month, the Eagles announced that three members of the B.C. Major Midget League’s Vancouver North East Chiefs – forwards Ben Fontaine and Ante Zlomislic and defenceman Luke Roberts – have committed to the junior ‘A’ team for next season.
All three players are 17 years old.
“All three can play. It was just a lucky coincidence they were all with the NE Chiefs under a great coach in Jamie Jackson,” said Cam Keith in a news release posted to the Eagles’ website.
“You can see the chemistry between those three, they’ve been together for 3 years… You can see the chemistry and how they’ve built off each other and it’s a huge plus to add these guys who have played together for as long as they have.”
During his last full season with the Chiefs, Fontaine, who is a Maple Ridge resident, scored 16 goals and added 24 assists in 36 games. He also played two games with the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express as an affiliate player.
“I heard nothing but good things about Surrey, the organization and the coaching staff. As soon as I met [the coaching staff] in person and talked to them in person, I just knew it was where I wanted to play,” Fontaine said, adding that he expects to “be a grinder for this team” when next season starts.
Zlomislic, a Coquitlam native, scored 10 goals and added 11 assists with the Chiefs during the last full BCMML season, and said he expects to bring speed to the Eagles’ lineup.
“I’m going to bring a quick pace, strong play in the corners and a strong shot,” he said. “I believe I’m going to do great things here.”
Roberts, meanwhile, should add some youth and possibly some offence to the Eagles’ blue line. He scored six goals and added 22 assists in 40 BCMML games in his last season.
“Luke’s a late bloomer type who found his offensive game in his midget career. He’s trending upwards quickly, and when you watch him play he’s really exciting,” said Keith about his new recruit.
“Every play has deception, he has a great shot, he’s not afraid to join the rush, and also he can defend. He puts his body on the line in the defensive zone, and takes pride in his play on both ends of the ice.”
All three players added that they were excited at the prospect of continuing to play together at the junior level.
“I’m super proud of those guys. They deserve everything they’ve got and their super hard workers. It’s going to be a lot of fun next year with those guys around,” Roberts said.