Another Surrey Eagles alum has made it to the National Hockey League.
On Sunday, former defenceman Devon Toews – who played for the Birds from 2011-13 before leaving to play at Quinnipiac University – played his first-ever NHL game with the New York Islanders in Dallas against the Stars.
The visiting Isles won the game 3-1. Toews logged just a shade of 18 minutes of ice time in his debut, skating on the team’s third defensive pairing with veteran Luca Sbisa, a former Vancouver Canuck.
His first time on the ice – for pregame warmup – was a solo effort, however, as his teammates left him to take a few twirls of the ice on his own, as has become customary for rookies making their debut.
“It’s tradition so it’s kind of fun to do,” Toews said to the media after the game.
“It was fun to be out there with those guys.”
The 24-year-old Abbotsford native earned positive reviews from his coach, Barry Trotz, after the game.
“He was not intimidated if he was out there against top guys or anything. That shows me he has a lot of confidence in his ability,” Trotz said. “He was one of our better ones today.”
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For his part, Toews said he felt he had a good game, telling reporters “comfortable is probably a good way to put it.”
“Sbisa is a great d partner for me and I thought we complimented each other really well,” he said.
Toews had been called up from the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate in Bridgeport, Conn. a few days earlier, which gave his family time to fly east to watch the game in person.
In his two seasons in the BCHL, Toews tallied 76 points in 102 games, and was nearly a point-per-game player from the blue line in his final season in Surrey. He was drafted by the Islanders in the fourth round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
According to the Eagles, he is the 18th former player to suit up in an NHL game.
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