Former Surrey Eagle Jaxon Joseph was one of 15 people killed in the Humbolt Broncos’ bus crash Friday night. (Surrey Eagles photo)

Humboldt Broncos crash victim Jaxon Joseph remembered for work ethic, positivity

Former Surrey Eagle played in BC Hockey League in 2015/16

Former Surrey Eagle Jaxon Joseph – one of 15 people who were killed when a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team was in a crash Friday night – is being remembered locally for his unwavering positivity, his sense of humour and for the respect he garnered in the locker room.

“He was just so easy to respect, and that’s because he was such a respectful person, himself,” said Surrey Eagles general manager Blaine Neufeld, who was the coach of the team during the 2015/’16 season, when Joseph joined the club.

“We all remember his laughter, his smile – he was always positive. He had a great work ethic, (and) was a guy who would always try to find a solution to something when there was a problem.

“He was just a joy to have in our group. Our hearts go out to the Joseph family.”

Neufeld said Joseph – the son of former NHL defenceman Chris Joseph – didn’t waste much time making an impact on the Eagles that season.

“He scored in his first game,” Neufeld said.

Joseph, 20, played 21 games with Surrey and the following year moved to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. He spent two years with the Melfort Mustangs before playing this season in Humboldt.

This season, he was the third leading scorer for the Broncos, whose bus collided with a semi truck while on its way to Nipawin, where the Broncos were scheduled to play Game 5 of their semifinal series against the Nipawin Hawks.

Only a handful of players on the Surrey Eagles’ most-recent roster played with Joseph during his time in South Surrey, and Neufeld said both he and head coach Brandon West have reached out to them, as well as recent team alumni to make sure they are doing OK following Friday’s news.

But direct connection to the tragedy or not, Neufeld – who, as a teenager, played junior hockey in a variety of places, from Vancouver to Saskatoon to Grande Prairie – said it’s no doubt being felt in every junior hockey rink across the country.

“It’s heartbreaking, horrific – it’s about as bad as it gets – and everybody has some type of connection to it,” he said. “We all travel by bus, and this is your worst fear as a junior hockey team. It’s just so sad. All you can do is pray, and offer your support (to the Humboldt victims) any way you can.”

Semiahmoo Minor Hockey posted a message of condolence to the Humboldt Broncos on its Facebook page over the weekend, and executive director Dave Newson said the crash has had an affect on parents – some of whom are, or have been, junior-hockey billet families.

“We are definitely feeling multiple connections throughout the association,” said Newson, who told Peace Arch News that he grew up playing hockey with Jaxon’s father, Chris.

“Jaxon’s billet family (from 2015/16) has a son who plays for us… many of our coaches and parents played junior , and many of our alumni are playing junior hockey now and dealing with the travel.”

Newson’s son, Calder, played eight games this season for the Weyburn Red Wings, who play in the same league as Humboldt.

“Every hockey community… shares the grief,” he said.

Neufeld said it’s important that Jaxon – as well as the other 14 who were killed – is remembered, and celebrated for what they brought not just to their hockey team, but to their families and communities.

“It’s important to remember the good things, and I just want him to be celebrated,” 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.”

BCHLSurrey Eagles

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey addictions officials say pandemic funding is wreaking havoc on those in recovery

Governments’ kindness taking its toll, recovery operators say

Fraser Valley Regional Library branches offer curbside pick up

After two and a half months of being closed, people can once again check books out of the library

Police asking for help to find 11-year-old last seen in Surrey

Shauntae Joseph has been reported missing two other times since October 2019

B.C. government releases designs for new Pattullo Bridge

Project expected to cost $1.377 billion, completed by end of 2023

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

B.C.’s police watchdog probing death of Richmond man in alleged shoplifting incident

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is asking any witnesses to come forward

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Aldergrove zoo to reopen with staff in masks, one-directional visitor experience to tackle COVID-19

Its June 1 reopening will be ushered in by words from Darryl Plecas, Legislative assembly Speaker

Most Read