Like many 15-year-olds, Justin Sourdif was surfing the internet while on his way to school.
Unlike most students, he was looking to see where hockey is going to take him a year from now.
A highly-ranked prospect from the Delta Hockey Academy, Sourdif’s name appeared quickly on the Western Hockey League’s Bantam Draft Tracker. The Surrey resident was claimed third overall by the Vancouver Giants, and was the first player from British Columbia to be selected.
“I thought I was going to Edmonton (fourth overall), then I saw my name pop up when the Giants picked,” said Sourdif, who was following the draft Thursday morning while on the bus heading for school at Delta Secondary. “I’m pretty excited, I got a call from (Giants general manager) Glen (Hanlon), saying they were excited to have me and that he would be in touch with more information a little later.”
A five-foot-nine, 158-pound centre, Sourdif tallied 32 goals and 66 points in 29 games played with the Delta Hockey Academy’s Bantam Prep team. At last month’s B.C. Cup in Salmon Arm, Sourdif scored five times and added four assists in four games and was selected to the tournament’s first all-star team.
A top prospect heading into the draft, the Western Elite Hockey Prospects website said Sourdif has “a superb defensive foundation” and has displayed “speed and offensive prowess.”
“I’m a strong, puck-moving forward,” said Sourdif. “I’m confident, and I consider myself a leader.”
Sourdif will attend a Giants orientation camp in May, and will see some familiar faces on the ice. “I’ve played with Cole Shepard, and I’ve played against Krz Plummer and Tanner Brown,” said Sourdif. “So I’ll know a few of the guys.”
Shepard, a teammate at the Delta Hockey Academy, was drafted by the Giants in the second round, while Brown was also a second-round selection and Plummer was claimed in the third round. Brown and Plummmer are members of the Bantam Prep team at the Pursuit of Excellence Program in Kelowna.
Sourdif said he needs to improve his consistency next season, and to “work hard game in and game out.”
He will join the Valley West Hawks of the BC Hockey Major Midget League next season.
Several other Surrey residents were selected in Thursday’s draft of 15-year-old players by WHL clubs.
Kurtis Smythe was claimed in second round (42nd overall) by the Saskatoon Blades. Smythe is a defenseman, and was a teammate of Sourdif’s at the Delta academy.
Cameron MacDonald, a forward with the Yale Hockey Academy, was taken by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the fifth round.
Ryan Popowich, a left winger with the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s Bantam Prep squad, was the sixth round selection of the Spokane Chiefs.
Also a sixth round selection, Delta academy defenseman Bryce Margetson was drafted by the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Daniel O’Neil, another Surrey resident and a centre with the Delta academy, was claimed in the sixth round by the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Defenseman Cameron Newson of the Semiahmoo Minor Hockey Association was the ninth-round choice of the Calgary Hitmen.