The junior hockey community is mourning the death of Ayr Centennials star Eli Palfreyman. Palfreyman, who was 20, died after collapsing during a preseason tournament game on Tuesday in Ontario, according to a report from TMZ Sports.
During the first intermission of an Ayr Farmers Mutual Global Invitational tournament game, Palfreyman collapsed while in the locker room. Emergency services were called and Palfreyman was transported to Cambridge Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A cause of death has not been announced yet.
The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League released a statement on Palfreyman’s death. The league also postponed all preseason exhibition games on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 out of respect for Palfreyman’s family.
“The GOJHL and all member teams would like to extend our deepest condolences to Eli’s family, friends, his teammates, and the entire Centennials organization,” the GOJHL said in a statement. “This is an unexplainable tragedy, and no words can ease the pain everyone involved is feelings. Eli’s relationships and friendships run deep throughout the GOJHL, the league is assisting with providing grief and mental health professionals to support the Centennials organization as well as other teams and their players.”
Palfreyman was in his second season with the Centennials, and he was just recently named team captain. In the 2021-22 season, Palfreyman played 44 games for the Centennials and tallied 16 goals and 13 assists.