HOCKEY: Home ice for Surrey’s Stewart in CJHL Prospects Game Tuesday

Eagles forward to play with top Junior A talent from across Canada

Jeffrey Stewart

SURREY — Scouts and average-Joe hockey fans will see some of the country’s best Junior A players in action here next Tuesday evening (Jan. 26).

The 2016 CJHL Prospects Game will be played at South Surrey Arena that night, and the host Surrey Eagles are eager to showcase their Olympic-sized ice.

The East and West teams are loaded with good teenage players from nine leagues across Canada.

“We have some super high-end kids coming who have a real opportunity to be drafted in the first round, never mind just drafted to the NHL,” said Blaine Neufeld, the Eagles’ coach and director of hockey operations.

“We’re honoured to host the game.”

Surrey-raised Jeffery Stewart (PICTURED), a six-foot-three forward with the Eagles, will dress for the West squad, which includes nine players from the BCHL, nine from the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), and one each from leagues in Manitoba (MJHL) and Saskatchewan (SJHL).

“It’s really exciting to see one of our own be invited to play in the game, and rightfully so,” Neufeld said. “Jeff has been having an excellent year.”

So far this season, Stewart’s biggest game was the six-point outing he had in Merritt in November. In 27 games played, the 17-year-old has tallied six goals and 14 assists.

“Jeff is one of those boys who is local here, played (Semiahmoo) minor hockey, gone through the Valley West Hawks (of the BC Major Midget League), come up through our training program and sure enough, he’s playing on our team,” Neufeld explained.

“He’s just one of those kids who gets better every year, and I dedicate that to his work ethic and determination to get better, along with his attitude. He’s just one of the good kids you always want to go to bat for, do things for.… He always has a smile on his face and loves being at the rink, and you won’t find too many people who wouldn’t want to see a guy like Jeff succeed.”

Stewart is among the younger players the Eagles have on its 2015-16 roster. The team, celebrating its 25th-anniversary season, sits at the bottom of the BCHL’s Mainland division with a 6-33 record.

“We’re a young team, probably a full year younger than any of the others, so we understand it’s a process of rebuilding our group, and we’re in the middle of that,” Neufeld said. “We think we have probably 18 returning players for next year, so we feel we’ll have a very strong team going forward. The boys are figuring out what it takes to win at this level. We figure the hard work will pay off for us as a team over the next few weeks here.”

The Eagles hit the road for three games this weekend, in Nanaimo, Alberni Valley and Powell River, before the CJHL showcase game is played at South Surrey Arena.

Scouts from across the hockey world, including the NHL, NCAA, CHL and Canadian universities and colleges, will be at the game. Two nights later, on Thursday, Jan. 28, many of those same scouts will attend the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver.

In Surrey, the guest coaches will be former Canucks players Orland Kurtenbach and Darcy Rota.

Game tickets ($10) can be purchased via the Eagles’ box office, 604-531-GOAL (4625), and the team’s website,

The team that wins the CJHL Prospects Game is awarded the President’s Cup. Since its inception in 2005, Team West has a slight edge with six wins, while Team East has won the cup four times.

Last year’s winner, Team West, won a “highly spirited and very competitive contest in dramatic fashion” in overtime in Oakville, Ontario, according to CJHL officials.



Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey hair salon joins sustainability initiative

Hair can be used to create boom to clean up oil spills: Green Circle Salons

White Rock breaks temperature record

B.C. city was the hottest in all of Canada

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

VIDEO: Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

1 woman dead, man in hospital after ‘suspicious’ crash: police

Homicide investigators and Burnaby RCMP are investigating the fatal collision

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

Most Read