CHSAANOW DEC 10, 2016, 9:01 AM
Joe Arnold had two goals and an assist to help No. 4 Cherry Creek hockey beat No. 3 Ralston Valley 5-3 on Friday night.
Jackson Ross, a 19-year-old defenceman who played last season with the Kamloops Storm of the KIJHL, has committed to the Surrey Eagles for the 2016-2017 season. The 6-foot, 172-pound Ross led all defencemen on his team last year with 26 points. Ross is an American-born player, originally hailing from Centennial, Colorado, where he played two years of hockey with Cherry Creek High School.
He will be a welcome addition to the team’s back end, as his puck-moving ability will be put to use. His 23 assists were the second-most on his team last season, despite being a defenceman.
SurreyEagles.ca reached out to Ross, who revealed more about his ability to dish the puck.
“I think my biggest strength is my hockey IQ. I try to make good decisions on the ice. I also love to pass the puck, because I see the game well. Making that quick, strong pass to set up a teammate is a great feeling.”
When it was time to decide where to play in 2016-2017, the Surrey Eagles were at the top of his list. His philosophies as a hockey player, and desire to win meshed well with the current coaching staff. That made it feel like a good fit.
“My coaches in Kamloops really recommended that I commit to the Eagles. They had great things to say,” explained Ross.
“I want to be part of a team that is hungry for success and growth. Looking at the youth of the team and its recent commitments, I know that we have great potential and better days lie ahead. As an added bonus, Surrey seems like a great place to play hockey and experience life! The team has great facilities, and I doubt that there is a better rink and dressing room in the league. I don’t think there is a better place for me to be next year.”
BC interior scout and assistant coach Craig Sterzer initially contacted Ross about the potential of moving to the BCHL. Ross made a very strong impression on the staff that watched him play. It was clear that he had outgrown the KIJHL, and was ready for the next challenge.
“The KIJHL was a fantastic experience, but it didn’t have the depth of talent that the BCHL has. The speed and the pace of play is much higher at the BCHL level, and it’s a faster, rougher, more skilled game. I know, without a doubt, that I can skate and compete with the players at this level.”
Ross now plans on spending the rest of the summer mentally and physically preparing himself, on and off the ice.
“I’m hoping to play a big role on the team this year as both a productive player, and a leader. I want to be a dependable defenceman that is capable of logging a lot of minutes.”
“Most importantly, I’m ready to compete and to help restore a winning mindset.”