Surrey, B.C. – The Surrey Eagles are proud to announce former NHL player and White Rock native Colton Gillies has joined the Eagles as an assistant coach for the 2021-22 season. Gillies played 3 games as a 15-year-old with the team before continuing his career and making the NHL as a 1st round draft choice.
Gillies is a veteran of 154 NHL games split between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild. Most recently, he played in the KHL as a member with Dinamo Riga from 2016-17 all the way until the 2019-20 season.
For Colton, it’s a pleasure to be back home to continue his coaching career with the Eagles next season. “I’m very excited! I definitely miss playing the game, so this is a good way to keep my toes in the water still. I can help out some of the local kids on the team, so I’m going to use my 12 years of hockey experience to help the Eagles in some way and help get these players to the next level.”
Continuing on the local factor for Colton, he’s excited to share his years of professional hockey knowledge to these up-and-coming players hoping to move forward with their careers. “I’m so thankful to have played 12 years of professional hockey. I had a lot of people help me out along the way. Hockey culture really emphasizes making sure everyone helps each other out. Older guys will take younger guys under their wing to show them how to be a pro at an early age, and is something I value a lot.”
Finally, Colton understands the change in hockey over the past few years and how to help these kids adjust to a new age of hockey. “I’m really excited to get to know Cam a little bit better, and to help these guys with a ton of skill to take the next step. Cam has a ton of drills, and guys want to come here and play with the Eagles. The culture here is great, and I’m excited to learn from Cam while adjusting to the new game to help these smaller, faster, and more skilled players take the steps they need nowadays to make the jump to the next level.”
For Eagles Head Coach Cam Keith, he’s excited to add a recent pro hockey player to his group to help his young team this season. “Colton Gillies is a player who just finished playing pro hockey at a very high level. He played in the [NHL] so he’s still in tune with what’s being coached at the highest level. The kids will respect that and listen to him; he’ll bring excitement and energy to our young group and hopefully the boys are excited to get to know him and ask him some questions.”
Welcome to the flock, Colton!