After being acquired midseason, Surrey Eagles defenceman Jeremy Smith saw his offensive game takeoff with his new team. He scored 20 points in 27 games with the Eagles and ended up tied for the team lead in scoring. This surge in production did not go unnoticed as Smith has announced his commitment to the Quinnipiac University Bobcats for the 2019-20 season.
Smith started the season with the Trail Smoke Eaters where he had 11 points in 21 games. In total, the 20-year-old from Toronto, Ont. had 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 48 games. His role also grew in other ways as he was named team captain after the departure of Ty Westgard in January.
Quinnipiac is an NCAA Division I program located in Hamden, Conn. and plays out of the ECAC Hockey conference along with Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Union and Yale.
The team has been a hotbed for BCHL talent over the years and next year will be no different. Smith will have a couple of familiar faces in the room as his Surrey teammate Corey Clifton is committed to the Bobcats next year as well as former Trail teammate Tyler Ghirardosi. Other BCHLers committed to Quinnipiac include Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Austin Spiridakis (2021-22), Chilliwack Chiefs forward Skyler Brind’Amour (2019-20), Langley Rivermen forward Ethan Leyh (2019-20), Powell River Kings forward Matt Fawcett (2019-20), Kings defenceman Jayden Lee (2020-21), Wenatchee Wild forwards Christophe Fillion, PJ Fletcher and Cristophe Tellier (2020-21) and West Kelowna Warriors defenceman Wyatt Head (2019-20).
This year’s Quinnipiac team finished the regular season tied for the lead in the ECAC Hockey conference with an overall record of 26-10-2. Despite losing to Brown in the quarterfinals of their conference tournament, they qualified for the NCAA tournament, beating Arizona State in the opener and falling to the eventual National Champions Minnesota-Duluth in their second game.
Their roster featured an NCAA-high 11 BCHL alums last season, including: Michael Lombardi (West Kelowna), Ethan de Jong (Prince George Spruce Kings), Chase Priskie (Salmon Arm Silverbacks), Luke Shiplo (Vernon Vipers), Nick Jermain (Merritt Centennials), TJ Friedmann (Victoria Grizzlies), Craig Martin (Trail), Scott Davidson (Chilliwack), Desi Burgart (Surrey), Odeen Tufton (Vernon) and Andrew Shortridge (Vernon).