Harpur off to Niagara next year on scholarship

The captain of the Cowichan Valley Capitals will be close to home next year when he begins his NCAA career.

The captain of the Cowichan Valley Capitals will be close to home next year when he begins his NCAA career.

Defenceman Chris Harpur has accepted a scholarship offer from Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, a 30-minute drive across the border from his hometown.

“Growing up, I saw a couple of games there,” Harpur recalled. “It will be good for friends and family to catch some games at home.”

A 20-year-old in his last season of junior eligibility, Harpur was pleased to commit to Niagara.

“It’s a relief,” he said. “I’ve spent three years in this league now. I’m happy to get a deal. I was happy with what they had to offer.”

Even though playing near his hometown was an attractive prospect for Harpur, it wasn’t until recently that he connected with the Purple Eagles.

“The coach, Dave Burkholder gave me a call and said they were interested,” Harpur said. “Their assistant coach came out and had a look, and I guess they liked what they saw.”

Harpur is the first player from this year’s Capitals team to commit to a scholarship for next season. Seven players from last year’s team earned college or university deals.

Harpur started his B.C. Hockey League career in 2014 with the Victoria Grizzlies, where he spent one season before joining the Caps along with current teammate Ayden MacDonald, finalizing a trade that saw Thomas Gobeil head to Victoria a few months earlier. How he ended up on Vancouver Island after growing up in Ontario is a “long story,” Harpur said.

“Basically, some friends had connections and they thought I could play in this league,” he said.

Halfway through the current season, Harpur has already set career highs in all offensive categories with five goals and 19 assists for 24 points in 32 games. He is tied for fourth in scoring among BCHL defencemen, and fourth among all Capitals skaters. In 146 career games with Victoria and Cowichan, Harpur has compiled 10 goals and 49 assists.

With a scholarship locked down, Harpur plans to get a degree, perhaps in business or sports management, and hopefully go on to play professionally. If he gets to that level, he will be following in the footsteps of his older brother, Ben, who played four years in the Ontario Hockey League before going pro with the Ottawa Senators organization, playing five games in the NHL late in the 2015-16 season.

More immediately, Harpur wants to “win something here with Cowichan.”

“I think we’ve got a pretty good team to do it,” he said. “I think we can go pretty far this year.”


Just Posted

Column: Keeping animals off roads is no simple task

Where I originally come from, it’s moose, which can weigh twice as much as an elk

Column David Suzuki: More action needed to ensure safe water for First Nations

All nine water systems on Lytton First Nation land have been under boil water advisories

Column: Hot under pressure: my newest love

A Valentine’s Day tribute to love and cooking

CWFL planning girls divisions

Players and coaches sought for 12-13 and 14-15 age groups

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

Coming up in Cowichan: Irrigation; Palestinian children; fun with fungi

The Cowichan Watershed Board is presenting a free efficient irrigation workshop

Wounded Warrior Run 2018 leaves Port Hardy

The Wounded Warrior Run is a relay run where a group of runners cover Vancouver Island in seven days

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.

Canada wins gold in bobsleigh

Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz tied for first in two-man event at 2018 Winter Olympics

Most Read