A young Chilliwack Chiefs forward is following in the skate-steps of his coach as AJ Lacroix commits to the Michigan State Spartans.
Lacroix will play NCAA Div 1 hockey for the same program Brian Maloney played for from 1999 to 2003. Former Chiefs Shawn Horcoff and Kevin Estrada have also called Munn Ice Arena home.
“I know from experience that AJ will have every resource available in front of him,” Maloney said in a Chiefs news release. “Knowing Coach (Adam) Nightingale and his staff on a personal level, I know AJ will be in great hands moving forward. Michigan State is a premier division one program and they locked up a really good prospect in AJ.”
The 2005-born forward is heading into his second season in Chilliwack, coming off an excellent rookie year. As a 16-year-old, Lacroix tallied 21 goals and 40 points in 53 games, taking home the Chiefs’ Sapphire Creative Rookie of the Year and Ross Beebe Scholastic Player of the Year awards. The West Vancouver product was also named as the BCHL’s March High School Player of the Month and was set to represent the Chiefs at the league’s Top Prospects Game before it was canceled due to Covid-19.
“We’re very excited for AJ and his family. AJ is a student of the game and this decision was one he really took his time with,” Maloney noted. “We respect and are proud of the process he took. He wanted to make sure that he surrounded himself with all of the resources that he could. He did his homework with a lot of different programs and decided that Michigan State was the right fit for him.” said Head Coach and General Manager Brian Maloney.