The 2nd year player with the Ayr Centennials of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League took to the ice Tuesday with his team at the Ayr Farmers Mutual Global Invitational tournament game at the North Dumfries Community Complex, TMZ reported.
During the tournament’s first intermission, Palfreyman was in the locker room with his teammates and collapsed, where “members of the community assisted the individual until emergency services attended,” the outlet noted.
Rising junior ice hockey star Eli Palfreyman died after he collapsed during a preseason tournament game in Ontario on Tuesday. https://t.co/he3Wf2rGad
— TMZ (@TMZ) September 1, 2022
Waterloo Regional Police officers then responded to the scene after receiving a medical emergency call. Palfreyman was then transported to Cambridge Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An official cause of death has yet to be released.
— Ayr Centennials (@AyrCentennials) August 31, 2022
The Ayr Centennials’ official Twitter account on Wednesday 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 the outlet that 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 had recently been named captain of the team for the new season and a video on Instagram showed just how excited he was. In the video, we hear Palfreymann call it an “honor” and more to be named captain as he shared his hope for the upcoming season of hockey with his team.
The caption next to the post read, “Cool moment inside the [ayrcentennials] locker room last night with [lilkawalec] presenting [eli.palfreyman] with the captain jersey! Palfreyman will lead the Cens into the 2022-23 GOJHL season.”
The junior hockey league also announced that it has postponed all games scheduled for this week “out of respect for Eli and his family,” the outlet noted.