Surrey, B.C. – The Surrey Eagles are proud to announce 16 year old defenceman Tait Ross has committed to the team for the 2020-21 B.C. Hockey League season. The young defenceman from Coquitlam, B.C. is the first 16 year old on the main roster since Brandon Santa Juana back in his rookie season (2018-19). Holden Cardinal played with the team last season as a 16 year old as well, suiting up as an affiliate player in 4 BCHL games (plus 2 playoff games).
When looking at Tait, it’s easy to see why he’ll be able to make the jump into the BCHL at a young age physically. The young defenceman stands 6’2 and weighs around 180 pounds. Last season while apart of the Delta Hockey Academy in the CSSHL, Tait scored 3 goals and added 17 assists in 36 games while playing on their elite 15’s team.
It’s always exciting for a player when they’re able to make the jump into the BCHL, but it’s an even bigger deal when a 16 year old makes the cut. Tait understands it’ll be a big jump but is looking forward to his future. “Obviously, coming in [to the BCHL] at 16, I think it’s pretty exciting. It’s going to be a big step up but it’ll be great to get all the exposure to universities and to the older guys already on the team. It’ll be a big opportunity for myself.”
Ross continued and explained what he believes the jump will be like as he gets ready to go up against older players. “I think it’s going to be a big adjustment for me. Playing last year in elite 15 against guys my own age and even playing a couple games with the midget prep team was fun. However, it’s going to be a big step up in physicality, speed and size against 18, 19, and 20 year old guys. It might take me a while but I know I’ll be able to handle it.”
For the lower mainland native, Tait shared why he chose Surrey as his destination to play as he gets ready to enter the BCHL. “I really liked the way that Surrey plays. I watched quite a bit of them last year and they move the puck super well. It’s really fast paced and that’s the way I like to play. I also connected really well with [Eagles Head Coach] Cam Keith. I thought he did a great job at introducing me to the organization and was with me every step of the way.”
Finally, Tait gives his scouting report on himself to all the Eagles fans who haven’t gotten the chance to see him play. “I’m a big, mobile defenceman that can play on both sides of the ice. I like to jump up in the rush but the priority is to take care of my own zone, play on the PK, block shots and do everything to win.”
When asked about his teams youngest defenceman, Cam gave a glowing scouting report on the 16 year old Coquitlam native. “Tait Ross is a two-way defender who does everything well. He can start the transition game with a smart pass, or attack open ice with a long smooth stride. Tait is mature beyond his years, and his strong character traits were a big factor when evaluating his ability to make the jump [to the BCHL] at 16 years old.”
Welcome to the flock Tait!
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