Surrey Eagles look to Florida for latest roster addition

BCHL team signs forward Connor Gatto for upcoming season

The Surrey Eagles continue to look south of the border when building their team for the 2020/’21 BC Hockey League season.

And this time, they’ve reached far south, signing Florida resident Connor Gatto for the coming year.

Though a native of The Sunshine State, the 2001-born forward – described in a team-issued news release as a “skilled, two-way centreman who battles hard up and down the rink” – joins the Birds from the National Collegiate Development Conference, which is based in the northeast United States.

In 49 games with the Massachusetts-based Islanders Hockey Club, Gatto – listed as five-foot-seven and 155 pounds – scored 14 goals and added 26 assists.

“I’m very excited,” he said in a news release.

“I’ve never played in Canada before, so that’ll be pretty interesting. I’m ready to start playing in a new league with a great reputation.”

Whenever the new season hits the ice – there may well be COVID-19-related delays – Gatto would take up the team’s sixth and final import spot on the Eagles’ roster, joining a slew of fellow Americans – Owen Nolan, Wyatt Schlaht, Brett Bliss, Kenny Riddett and Matt Connor.

Gatto said his relationship with Eagles head coach Cam Keith cemented his decision to come north.

“He really likes me and I really enjoyed talking to him. I know the (BCHL) is great, and I knew I could play in a better league, so I said, ‘Why not? Let’s give it a shot.’”

Despite junior teams across the country being in something of a holding pattern for much of this spring due to the uncertainly surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eagles have remained fairly busy preparing for the to-be-determined new season. In addition to adding Gatto, the team has recently signed Montreal native Tio D’Addario and Ontario’s Cole Galata, and traded forward Hassan Akl and defenceman Jordan Hendry – a South Surrey native – to Fort McMurray of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCHLSurrey Eagles

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey wrestler Jason Bains receives four-year suspension for using banned substance

Queen Elizabeth Secondary grad tests positive for steroid Turinabol, silver national medal removed

What happens when someone tests positive for COVID-19 at a Surrey school?

Surrey Schools Superintendent explains step-by-step process for notifying the community

UPDATED: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Peace Arch Hospital

Provincial health officer says outbreak is in the facility’s rehab unit

COVID-19 exposures reported at four more Surrey schools

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

‘Ukrainian soul food’ fundraiser returns to Surrey hall, with a twist

COVID-19 put a stop to church group’s monthly event, but it’s back on Sept. 25

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Report raises questions about COVID outbreak that killed 25 seniors at Langley Lodge

CEO defends leaked document that’s igniting queries about BC’s most deadly COVID outbreak

PHOTO: RCMP escort beaver across busy Chilliwack road

Motorists had to exercise patience as the slow-moving creature crossed several lanes of traffic

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Man arrested in New Westminster pier park fire

Investigators don’t believe the public are at further risk and are not looking for any other suspects

Most Read