The Surrey Eagles organization is extremely pleased to announce the commitment of 2001-born defenceman Cade Alami for the upcoming 2019-20 season. Alami is ranked as the 173rd North American skater for the 2019 NHL Draft, and is committed to play Division I NCAA hockey for Providence College.
Measuring in at 6-foot-7, 200 pounds, Alami is an intimidating presence on the ice and will be a key part of the defensive group on a new-look Eagles team. He is coming off a season in which he appeared in 12 total games with Berkshire high school in Massachusetts, and the Mid-Fairfield Rangers U18 midget team.
“I chose to go to Surrey because I want to develop as a player,” Alami told SurreyEagles.ca in an interview. “I think coach [Cam] Keith will help me tremendously, but I also want to do what I can to help this team win a championship. I’m focused on going there and doing what I can to help the team.”
Alami’s size is usually the first thing that jumps off the paper when people see his name on the roster sheet, but he wants the fans in Surrey to know that he’s more than just a big, bruising defenceman.
“When people see a 6-foot-7 defenceman, they think he must be just a big kid who buries people in the corner. I certainly like to do that, but I like to think of myself as more of a two-way defenceman. I’m a big kid but I can also produce offensively as well, so that’s what I’m going to try to do in Surrey.”
Despite battling through an injury in 2018-19, Alami managed to impress NHL scouts in the limited action that they saw. Being selected by NHL Central Scouting for their final rankings didn’t necessarily come as a surprise to him based on the attention that he received throughout the year, but he still appreciates being noticed.
“It’s definitely very exciting,” Alami said about his ranking. “I talked to a couple of NHL scouts before my injury, and I’ve talked to a few pretty recently. I honestly wasn’t expecting much because I haven’t played a lot of hockey lately, but it is an honour that they put me on there.”
As a multi-sport athlete, Alami will also turn to his other love to aid in his injury recovery this summer: Tennis. Although it is a very different sport than hockey, he does find the emphasis on footwork to be similar to playing defence.
“Tennis is a big footwork sport,” he explained. “You have to be very co-ordinated with your feet, so I think it translates to hockey with foot speed and gapping, that’s how I look at it.”
As a 6-foot-7 defenceman, having clean and smooth footwork is extra important. Those skills can also become exposed on South Surrey Arena’s Olympic-sized ice surface. Luckily, Alami’s high school club also played in an Olympic-sized arena, so he is more than ready for the challenge.
Aside from playing tennis, Alami will continue to work out and get stronger as he prepares for his first season of junior hockey. Under the guidance of head coach Cam Keith, he feels like he’ll be prepared well to make the jump to NCAA Division I hockey in 2020.
“Just from talking to coach Keith, I love everything about the situation in Surrey. It’s awesome. He seems like a very reliable guy that will always do the right thing. I liked him from the start. I can’t wait to play for him. I want to bring a championship back to Surrey, that’s my mindset going in.”