The Surrey Eagles have dealt their captain and leading scorer to a division rival a day before the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Thursday trade deadline.
On Wednesday, the Birds – who are in last place in the BC Hockey League and the only team not currently in a playoff spot – shipped 20-year-old forward Ty Westgard and the playing rights to 19-year-old former Eagle Aaron White to the Coquitlam Express in exchange for Cole Edgerton and future considerations.
Westgard is in his final season of junior-hockey eligibility and will now get a chance to chase a BCHL championship before graduating from the league. A veteran of 160 BCHL games – plus a few stints in the Western Hockey League – Westgard returned to the Eagles’ lineup this month after being out with injury since mid-November.
He has 10 goals and 34 points in just 26 games this season, and was among the league leaders in points before he was hurt.
On Wednesday morning – just hours before the Westgard deal was announced – Surrey Eagles general manager Blaine Neufeld told Peace Arch News that while the team had originally hoped to make a push for the playoffs, injuries to key players had thrown a wrench into those plans; the team has been shorthanded nearly all season, often icing a lineup that is either short players, full of affiliate player, or both.
Neufeld told PAN at the time that he would likely try to move older players to contending teams by Thursday’s deadline.
White, a 19-year-old Ohio native, began the season with the Eagles but left after just 10 games to join the United States Hockey League’s Omaha Lancers.
In Edgerton, the Eagles get a forward who will be in his final season of junior eligibility next season. This year with the Express, the New Jersey native has three goals and 10 points in 30 games.
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