McCartney brings maturity and strong defensive presence to Briercrest hockey team

Posted: June 20, 2016

The Briercrest men’s hockey team is excited to announce the signing of Toronto Predators defenseman CJ (Colin Jr.) McCartney for the 2016-17 season.

Briercrest head coach Jamie Ramer is excited to have McCartney join the team this year.

“I’m excited to have CJ join our school and program next season,” Ramer explained. “I think we are both excited to see how he will continue to develop as a player as he pushes himself at this level and as he will add some important depth to our defensive core.   I think he will also bring some important experiences to our team and culture on a number of levels.   His desire to grow both on and off the ice will be a big part of that.  As much as I hope he will be encouraged in being a part of our team and school, I am excited to see the contributions he will make as well.”

Toronto Predators owner, President, General Manager and Head Coach Robert Turnbull had nothing but good things to say about McCartney.

“I have coached lots of quality kids, both on and off the ice,” Turnbull explained. “CJ is one of the finest young men that I have had the opportunity to work with. He leaves everything out there on the ice. In fact, at the end of the season I asked him to coach, but he said that he wanted to play at Briercrest this year. I told him I would save a spot on my coaching staff in the future. You can’t get enough good help, so to get someone so personable and who works so hard is a win-win for everyone.”

“He is a good hockey player,” Turnbull continued. “He gives 100% all of the time. He can carry the puck, shoot the puck. He can play in all situations. You can have him out there for the last minute of a hockey game. He will do whatever is asked of him. You are very fortunate to have him.”

The 6’ 1” defenseman shared a bit about his hockey journey that brought him to the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League (GMJHL) with Toronto and now to Saskatchewan to play at Briercrest this fall.

“I started playing hockey at a very young age,” McCartney explained. “I learned to skate when I was about four years old and wanted to begin playing hockey immediately after that. This came to fruition when I was about 6 or 7 years old and I was signed up for “Learn To Play” Hockey.”

“I grew up most of my life playing up the middle as a centre, but transformed into a defenseman when I was 16 years old playing in the Greater Toronto Hockey League for the North York Knights,” the Scarborough, ON native continued. “This came due to a shortage of defensemen available on the team at the time and I volunteered to fill the hole on D knowing that it would get me more ice time. Ever since then, I’ve never looked back.”

McCartney shared about some of his favourite hockey memories thus far in his career.

“One of my favorite moments was representing my high school for school hockey,” the 21 year-old shared. “This was my favorite type of hockey because I got to play for my teammates beside me who I grew up with. This was unlike all of the club hockey I played outside of school where I played with different people from all over the GTA and only saw when I was at the rink. In high school hockey all of my teammates were friends I’d see each and every single day of my childhood – so it was very cool to play alongside them. A great memory from this was being lucky enough to score the shootout winning goal in the high school regional semi-finals after double overtime to clinch a berth in the finals.”

McCartney graduated from Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, ON where he received multiple awards.

“I received the Athletic Leadership Award in my graduating year of high school in 2012, as well as the Tier I Hockey MVP Award that same year,” he explained. “I also played high school football for the Laurier Blue Devils and was the starting quarterback of the varsity team. I am an alumni of the Agincourt Church “Learn To Play” hockey League, West Hill Golden Hawks Minor Hockey team, Scarborough Young Leafs Hockey Club of the SHA, North York Knights of the GTHL, and most recently the Toronto Predators Junior A Hockey Club.”

McCartney is excited for his time at Briercrest.

“I will be in the “General Studies” Program at Briercrest,” he said. “I am looking forward most to meeting tons of incredible new people, being in parts of Canada I’ve never been before, developing as a man of faith and all the wonderful experiences ahead that God has in store for me.”

McCartney has had some neat experiences since graduating from high school, both individually and with his family.

“I am a huge Montreal Canadiens fan, as my father’s side of the family is all from Montreal, Quebec,” he began. “My father founded a charitable organization called UrbanPromise Toronto which works out of government housing communities in Toronto. I have been involved in volunteering here with after school tutoring programs and summer day camps. I have worked at Muskoka Woods Sports Resort for the past six summers. This is a very prestigious Christian children’s overnight camp where I have been involved with many things, most specifically their Waterski / Wakeboard / Wake Surf program.”

“After I graduated from high school I took a gap year,” he continued. “During this year I spent three months in Austria attending a Torchbearers Capernwray Bible School ‘Taurenhof’. Here I had the opportunity to learn plenty about God while living in the Austrian Alps and getting to explore other European countries a bit. I also went on a missions trip during this year to Africa where I served at an orphanage in Kenya called ‘Shangalia Children’s Home’.”

For more information about the Briercrest Hockey team like the “Briercrest Hockey” facebook page.