The Surrey Eagles have officially lost one of their top offensive players to the major-junior ranks.
On Wednesday, the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants announced that they have signed 19-year-old forward Holden Katzalay to a standard WHL player agreement.
Katzalay had been playing with the Giants since late November on a tryout basis, appearing in three games with the Giants.
With the Eagles this season, Katzalay – who was one of just three players to return to the BC Hockey League team from last season – had 16 goals and 17 assists in 27 games. He was second in team scoring, behind only Christophe Tellier.
He hadn’t played a game with the Eagles since Nov. 20.
With Katzalay’s departure and the October trade of former captain Cody Schiavon, forward Brandon Santa Juana is now the only member of the Eagles who was on the team at the end of last season.
Katzalay joined the Birds last season, after he was cut by the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. In 59 career games with the T-Birds, he had two assists.
He is yet to record a point with the Langley-based Giants, but has been playing in a top-six role with the team.
“We are happy that Holden has chosen to join our team,” said Giants general manager Barclay Parneta in a news release. “He brings a good combination of size and skill to our roster.”