The junior hockey community mourns the passing of Ayr Centennials star Eli Palfreyman. Palfreyman, who was 20, died after collapsing during a preseason tournament game Tuesday in Ontario, according to a report from TMZ Sports.
During the first intermission of an Ayr Farmers Mutual Global Invitational tournament match, Palfreyman collapsed in the locker room. Emergency services were called and Palfreyman was taken to Cambridge Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A cause of death has yet to be announced.
The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League has released a statement on Palfreyman’s passing. The league also postponed all preseason preseason games on August 31 and September 1 out of respect for Palfreyman’s family.
“The GOJHL and all member teams would like to express our deepest condolences to Eli’s family, friends, teammates and the entire Centennials organization,” the GOJHL said in a statement. “This is an inexplicable tragedy, and no words can ease the pain felt by everyone involved. Eli’s relationships and friendships run deep throughout the GOJHL, the league helps provide bereavement professionals and mental health 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 recently named team captain. During the 2021-22 season, Palfreyman played 44 games for the Centennials and had 16 goals and 13 assists.