Twenty-year-old rising hockey star Eli Palfreyman collapsed while playing with his team in Ontario, Canada, and was pronounced dead after arriving at the hospital.
TMZ reported that the second-year player with the Ayr Centennials of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League took to the ice Tuesday at the Ayr Farmers Mutual Global Invitational tournament game at the North Dumfries Community Complex. While in the locker room with his teammates during the tournament’s first intermission, Palfreyman collapsed, and “members of the community assisted the individual until emergency services attended.”
When Waterloo Regional Police officers arrived on the scene after receiving a medical emergency call, they transported Palfreyman to Cambridge Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
No official cause of death has been released.
On Wednesday, the official Twitter account for the Ayr Centennials posted a message about Palfreyman showing two different images of his jersey. It captioned the post, “#RIP17.”
The team also released a statement obtained by TMZ which read, “Thank you all for the outpouring of love for our beloved captain and beautiful young man Eli.”
“Words cannot describe how much it means to his family/Cens family,” the statement added. “We are all broken but feel your arms around us #RIP17 .”
Eli was the team captain for the new season, and had been excited to serve the team in his role. He called the position an “honor” and shared his hope for the upcoming season with his team in a video posted to Instagram.
“Cool moment inside the [Ayr Centennials] locker room last night with [Sean Kawalec] presenting [Eli Palfreyman] with the captain jersey! Palfreyman will lead the Cens into the 2022-23 GOJHL season.”
The league also announced that it has postponed all games scheduled for this week “out of respect for Eli and his family,” the outlet noted.
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