The Surrey Eagles organization is pleased to announce the commitment of 2001-born forward Gabe Schovanek for the upcoming 2019-20 season. Schovanek played with the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy last season alongside fellow Eagles recruit Sean Ramsay, recording 23 goals and 52 assists for 75 points in only 36 games.
Schovanek with Ramsay and linemate Kyle Brown terrorized the CSSHL last season, scoring seemingly at will when they stepped onto the ice. While Ramsay notched the majority of the goal-scoring, Schovanek was known for his skilled playmaking ability – leading his team and finishing second in the league in assists.
The chemistry between Schovanek and Ramsay was something that both players wanted to keep going into their junior careers. Eagles head coach and associate general manager Cam Keith fully agreed that keeping both players together was important, making the commitments to both players an easy decision.
“We’ve played on the same team for the last three years,” Schovanek said in an interview with SurreyEagles.ca “Only just last year we started playing on the same line. We had that chemistry together. In the summer we work together, we work out together, we’re trying to do everything together, so [going to Surrey] seemed like the right thing to do.”
Bringing in the CSSHL’s single-season scoring record holder along with the player who set him up the most seems like a no-brainer of a decision. Schovanek contends that the pair still have a lot to work on. He says they aren’t taking the opportunity for granted, working out and getting stronger each day, but also understand that there are other areas of their game that they need to work on as well.
“I think coach Keith expects us to perform offensively,” explained Schovanek. “With that being said, we still need to clean up our defensive game a little bit. Last year was a bit tough at times. We had to do a lot of the heavy lifting up front, which made us take our foot off the gas pedal a little bit on the defensive end. We’ll definitely have a more well-rounded mindset going into next year, and we’ll try to do our best at both ends of the rink.”
As for why he chose Surrey over a variety of other options, Schovanek emphasizes the importance of having a connection with the coach. He had an instant rapport with Keith and felt like his new coach cared about his development – something that he didn’t feel with other coaches around the league.
“No other coach felt as interested, or cared about us as much as Cam,” Schovanek revealed. “I think having that level of trust with your head coach is a big thing. Surrey looks like a great place to live, the rink is nice. It all happened quickly, but it felt right. I think Cam has done a great job recruiting and bringing in the best guys to give us the opportunity to succeed. Now it’s on us. He’s done his job, he believes in this group, now it’s up to us to prove him right.”
Looking forward to next season, Schovanek wants to continue to get stronger in the gym in preparation, but also can’t hide his excitement to begin the season playing on South Surrey Arena’s Olympic-sized ice surface.
“I would describe myself as a playmaking winger. I’m always looking to make a pass or create something. The Olympic-sized ice is more skating, but it also gives you more time and space, a little more opportunity to be creative offensively and make things happen. I’m pretty excited about that. It should fit into Sean’s game a little better because he’s a great skater, but I think I’ll be able to keep up.”
Welcome to the team, Gabe!
The Surrey Eagles exhibition schedule has been announced! Join us for three home games in August as the team prepares for the 2019-20 BCHL season. We will be hosting games at South Surrey Arena on August 24th, 27th, and 31st. Please click here for more details.
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