The Surrey Eagles are shaking up their leadership group for the remainder of the 2016-17 season. Following the trade deadline, the team had been running with their captain Paul McAvoy, and one assistant, Darius Davidson. Going forward, Paul McAvoy will wear an ‘A’ on his chest alongside Davidson, and forward Jordan Robert has been promoted to captain. He will wear the ‘C’ in the team’s next game against Trail on Thursday night.
The move was a difficult decision to make, but it was one that was ultimately decided on by McAvoy – with the full support of his teammates.
“It was a decision made by coach Blaine [Neufeld] and myself,” McAvoy explained.
“We felt it was necessary for the team to get a new voice in the locker room, and JR is the right guy for that. He’s worked hard all year, and he deserves it. With 15 games left, we really need to head in the right direction.”
Robert was surprised by the decision, but accepted the challenge from McAvoy when he was presented with the idea.
“It’s quite an honour,” Robert told SurreyEagles.ca
“The coaches and Paul told me that they see me as a leader. I have the upmost respect for Paul to do this. It’s a big step, and I’m ready for it. It’s only a letter – Paul, Darius, and myself are going to do this all together. I’m still learning from them. I’ve been captain on teams before, so I’m ready to take on the challenge.”
McAvoy, a Colgate University commit, is currently second on the team in points-per-game, with 31 points in 35 games. He was named captain at the midway point of last season after Johnny Wesley was promoted to the Vancouver Giants of the WHL.
Robert, a Clarkson University commit, has posted 7 goals and 14 assists in 40 games – his first season in the BCHL. He leads by example with his physical play on the ice, and is also an extremely vocal leader for the team in the dressing room.
Getting the team on the right track as they make a push for the playoffs remained the key for McAvoy, who wants to finish his junior hockey career on a winning note.
“The team is more important than the letter,” McAvoy said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win.”
The Eagles take on the Trail Smoke Eaters on Thursday night, and continue their homestand on Sunday night when the Chilliwack Chiefs come to South Surrey Arena. Sunday’s game also features a free post-game skate with the Eagles players.