Valley West Hawks' Darien Craighead (#14) will join the Langley Rivermen next season.

Craighead commits to Rivermen

Langley junior A hockey club lands high-scoring forward for next hockey season

The Langley Rivermen have landed a player with some hockey bloodlines with the commitment of forward Darien Craighead for the 2013/14 season.

Craighead, who turns 16 on March 7, currently plays for the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League and has 16 goals and 28 points in 30 games.

Craighead is the son of former pro hockey player John Craighead, who played more than 600 games professionally — including one season for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1996/97.

“It is one of those things where we believe in bloodlines,” said Rivermen coach and general manager Bobby Henderson.

“We have been pretty close with their family for a number of years and it has given me plenty of opportunity to watch Darien play.

“He has put in a lot of hard work in the past couple of years and we believe he is on the right track to becoming an elite player.

“If you watch Darien play, you can very much tell he has had great coaching and guidance from his father.

“Just by talking to him, you notice right away he is willing to learn and is a student of the game.”

The Surrey native is a five-foot-10 150-pound right-winger.

“I am very excited about becoming a member of the Rivermen,” he said.

“I have practiced with them a couple of times this year and being around that type of environment was really neat and it has always been a dream of mine to play for Langley.”

Craighead describes himself as more of a playmaker, although this is the first season he has more goals than assists.

“I think I can see the ice fairly well out there and can shoot the puck pretty good for the most part,” he said.

“For me, I am used to putting up assists, but this year has been different and the puck has been going in more.”

Craighead picked up a pair of goals and three assists over the weekend as the Hawks cruised to a pair of victories, 11-2 and 12-3 over the Kootenay Ice.

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