The Surrey Eagles will retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 jersey at the beginning of next season, the team announced. (Surrey Eagles photo)

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

A few days after Jaxon Joseph’s death – one of 16 in the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash April 6 – Blaine Neufeld, former coach with the Surrey Eagles, said what he wanted, more than anything, was for the 20-year-old hockey player to be remembered.

Now, the Eagles have found a way to do just that – by retiring Joseph’s No. 10 jersey.

Team president Chuck Westgard confirmed to Black Press this week that the number will go up into the rafters, but said official plans to honour Joseph – who played for the Eagles during the 2015/16 season – were still being worked out.

After his time in South Surrey, Joseph moved on to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, first with the Melfort Mustangs and then with Humboldt. The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin when their team bus collided with a semi truck.

Westgard hopes the gesture will serve as a way not only to honour Joseph, but his Humboldt teammates, as well.

“It’s a tragedy that hit everyone hard, especially those of us in the hockey community,” Westgard said Tuesday. “Number one, this is a way to honour Jaxon, but number two, it’s a way to acknowledge what happened and make sure people don’t ever forget.

“We need to remember those kids, and those people.”

Speaking with Black Press a few days after the bus crash, Neufeld said the tragedy hit home with everyone involved in the sport, calling it “heartbreaking, horrific – it’s about as bad as it gets.”

Though Joseph only played part of one season in Surrey, he was one of the team’s most well-respected players, Neufeld said.

“Beyond the game of hockey, he was a young man who was built to succeed in life, and it’s just a shame he isn’t going to get that chance,” he said at the time.

Joseph’s number will be the second retired by the club. Former forward Jeff Nabseth’s No. 8 jersey was retired after he was killed in a bike accident on Vancouver Island in 1999.

Caige Sterzer wore No. 10 last season with the Eagles, and while the team brass hasn’t spoke with him yet about making a switch, Westgard said “he won’t have any problem with it.”

Just Posted

UPDATED: Pedestrian fatally hit on railway in Agassiz

Police, fire and ambulance responded

Column: Chilliwack’s RBC Cup win a dream come true

Jacob Bestebroer spent hours wondering what a championship might feel like, and finally found out.

Fraser River at Chilliwack may have peaked but freshet isn’t over

Forecast free of rain is good news as river should remain high but not get higher

Big brew tanks headed for Chilliwack will look like beer cans

Snap a #beertanks selfie if you spot one of the massive tanks en route to Chilliwack

VIDEO: Chilliwack RCMP descend on home where camper fire happened Sunday

Three days after blaze in driveway, heavy police presence and at least one arrested

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

B.C. mom makes huge donations of breast milk

North Delta mommy has donated roughly 25 four-litre jugs of her breast milk to babies in need

5 to start your day

Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool, third sex assault in less than a week in Surrey and more

Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool

Mission RCMP located toddler after she went missing from a local daycare

Toronto opening 800 emergency spaces to deal with influx of refugee claimants

Beginning Thursday, Toronto will temporarily house refugee claimants and new arrivals in 400 beds in the city’s east end.

Breaking: Trump cancels summit with North Korea

Trump cancels June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in recent statement

Rivers rising: Floods in B.C., New Brunswick a warning of what’s to come

In B.C., thousands of residents are returning to homes this week marked with red or yellow signs indicating a health inspection is necessary

North Korea demolishes nuke test site with series of blasts

North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

Wildfire sparks near perimeter of devastating 2017 Elephant Hill fire

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Most Read