Surrey-raised Arshdeep Bains in action with Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. (Photo courtesy Red Deer Rebels/Rob Wallator)

Surrey-raised Arshdeep Bains in action with Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. (Photo courtesy Red Deer Rebels/Rob Wallator)

NHL HOCKEY

Surrey’s Bains signs with Canucks after high-scoring season in WHL

He was the first player of South Asian descent to lead the WHL in points

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin announced Friday (March 11) that the club has signed Surrey’s Arshdeep Bains to an entry-level contract.

News of the signing is posted to nhl.com/canucks.

“Bains, 21, has appeared in 55 games for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this season collecting 82 points (30-52-82) and 46 penalty minutes. He leads the league in both points (82) and assists (52), becoming the first player of South Asian descent to lead the WHL in points.

“This season, the 6’1”, 184-pound left winger collected 11 power play goals and 24 assists on the man advantage to help the Rebels boast the third-best power-play percentage in the league.”

Bains will continue playing for Red Deer this spring, with an eye on cracking the Canucks lineup next season, for 2022-23.

Reached Friday, Bains said “it’s pretty relieving” to sign with his hometown NHL team, and also tweeted that it was “a dream come true” to sign a contract with the Canucks.

“My whole family, and my brother especially, we all went to Canucks games, so it’s pretty exciting to have an opportunity to play for them,” Bains said.

Not drafted by a NHL team, Bains recently said he’d been playing hard this season to earn himself an invitation to a pro-team camp this coming summer.

“I’m just trying to get my foot in the door and see if I can create an opportunity as an over-ager, so we’ll see how things happen, but I’m pretty excited,” Bains asserted last month, in an interview with the Now-Leader. “My agent’s been doing most of the work and he says things are good, so I just keep playing my game and let the rest handle itself.”

• RELATED: Film to focus on South Asian hockey players including Surrey’s Bains, among WHL top scorers.

As Bains skates his way from junior hockey to pro, a film crew is following his progress as one of the WHL’s leading scorers, for a new movie focused on South Asian hockey players.

The former Surrey Minor Hockey player is among four main characters being filmed for a documentary called “Out of the Stands,” due out this fall. Co-directed and produced by Baljit Sangra and Nilesh Patel, the movie’s goal is to offer “an intimate look at junior hockey through the eyes of four South Asian players as they struggle to find success in Canada’s national sport.”

In addition to Bains, the other featured players are Surrey-born Arvin Atwal (now playing pro in Slovakia), Richmond-raised Kayden Sadhra-Kang (with the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos) and a second Richmondite, 16-year-old Arjun Bawa (BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals). The film will also feature interviews with former Surrey Minor Hockey president Harbs Bains, who is now managing Lake Cowichan Kraken, new to the 11-team Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL).



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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