Tardiness in making travel mates miss a ferry is the cardinal sin for any Islander to commit. But Connor Eddy’s Victoria Grizzlies teammates have forgiven him because they are hockey players and they understand.
The queue among NCAA Division 1 scouts to talk to Eddy following the B.C. Hockey League Showcase tournament last week in Chilliwack was so long that the Grizzlies missed their scheduled ferry back to the Island and had to take a later one.
“That was on me,” quipped the Saanich Minor Hockey Association product.
Among the many offers, Eddy decided on the one from Northern Michigan University, a Wildcats team with a solid pedigree of 21 NHL alumni and six Olympians.
It was the just reward for a breakout season for the former third- and fourth-line player who, heading into Wednesday night’s games, co-led the BCHL in scoring with 14 points. Eddy has already exceeded in just seven games his total output of 12 points in 45 games from his 2019-20 rookie season.
The other league co-leader also on 14 points is Grizzlies line-mate and touted rookie Matthew Wood, the Nanaimo native who is showing why he is projected for the first round of the 2023 NHL draft. Nobody was making such predictions for third-year Eddy in his rookie season with the Grizzlies. But he has steadily risen from afterthought to front-rank player in a true breakthrough tale.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Eddy.
“I had a strong finish to the pandemic pod season last spring [eight points in 14 games] and that led to a good training camp this fall.”
And suddenly a ton of NCAA interest.
“It was a tough decision but I decided Northern Michigan was the best fit for me,” said Eddy, 19, a six-foot-one winger.
“I am a fast skater, that’s a big part of my game, and they have an Olympic-size ice sheet in their home arena that will really suit my style. And they said they really liked my compete level.”
Everything seems possible at this point of a hockey career.
“Pro hockey is a goal of mine, but it will be important to have an education to fall back on,” said Eddy, who plans to study business and economics at Northern Michigan.
Eddy and the Grizzlies (5-2) will be looking to get back on track after dropping both games in the BCHL Showcase following five wins to start the season. The opposition tonight at 7 p.m. in the Q Centre are the Vernon Vipers (3-2).