May 4th is known as Star Wars Day to many movie fans around the world, but for the Vancouver Giants’ first pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, Justin Sourdif will surely remember that day for a very different reason.
The Giants selected the 15-year-old winger third overall from the Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Prep program where Sourdif was second on the team in scoring with 32 goals and 66 points through 29 games. Sourdif finished his season with some of the best offensive numbers in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. He was also more than a point-per-game player through the playoffs and recently came back from the 2017 U16 BC Cup where he led Team White in scoring with nine points in four games.
The 5’10” power-forward describes himself as a 200ft player who enjoys creating havoc for the other team’s defence. “I like to play a fast game, hard nosed around the net too. I have pretty good vision. I’ll see the guy if he’s open. I’m pretty hard to get around. I battle every shift and make it hard on their guys.”
The Surrey native was scouted as a well-rounded player, and he thinks that he can continually improve his game. “I think I need to work on my shot a little more, get that Bantam shot to a WHL shot, and move it to the next level.”
Sourdif was pleased to have been drafted by his hometown WHL team where he was able to watch Giants’ greats while growing up.“The Giants are a great organization, they won the Memorial Cup not too long ago, and I like some of the players that came out of there; (Brendan) Gallagher, (Evander) Kane. I got to see them play a couple of times and it was pretty cool.”
Sourdif won’t be eligible to play for the Giants full-time in the upcoming season but will participate in his first WHL training camp. “I’m really excited about that. Getting to meet everyone; the staff and getting to know my future teammates is going to be pretty fun. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve practiced with some guys at the WHL level, and it’s a big jump, so I’m looking forward to that.”
He is still deciding where he plans to spend his 2017-2018 hockey season as he develops into an important player for the Giants future. “I think most likely I’ll be playing Major Midget for the Valley West Hawks. Seeing those guys come out of there; Tyler Ho, Aidan Barfoot and making the transition to the Giants gives me confidence knowing that I can play for the Valley West Hawks and make a smooth transition to the Giants as a 16 year old.”
Sourdif still has a way to go before he’ll be the impact player expected of him. With hard work and dedication he’ll be on his way to reaching his next goal. After being drafted on Star Wars Day, he can heed some advice from the iconic film franchise. “Much to learn you still have” said Jedi Master Yoda “this is just the beginning.”
(Article by Nick MacDonald Czapiewski)