Edmonton Oil Kings forward Caleb Reimer was among the three teens who lost their lives in a single-car crash in Surrey, B.C. on Saturday.
President and general manager Kirt Hill released a statement expressing condolences to Reimer's family.
“I want to express our deepest condolences on behalf of the entire Edmonton Oil Kings organization to the Reimer family and to the families of Ronin Sharma and Parker Magnuson.
"Caleb was a young man with a bright future both on and off the ice. He was a person that you loved to be around, he was a great teammate and a great friend.
"I will never forget the first phone call we had the day we drafted him to the organization and the excitement of Caleb on the other end of the line. We will all remember his first WHL goal at the DCA and the pure joy and excitement that followed in his celebration with his teammates. We will truly miss having Caleb in our lives each and every day. He was part of our family and will be a tremendous loss in all of our hearts.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time."
Reimer was coming off a strong rookie season in the WHL and was one of the club's breakout players during their 2020-21 Central Division Championship season. The 16-year-old was selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2019 WHL Prospects Draft.
Oil Kings head coach Brad Lauer also issued a statement: "The last 24 hours have been extremely difficult to find the words to express our emotions.
"Caleb Reimer had a bright future ahead and it was rewarding as a coach to see him develop as a person. Despite a shortened schedule, Caleb showed huge improvement in his first season.
"Remembering his first WHL goal — the excitement that he had, the exuberant reaction from his teammates — it was obvious that in a short time he became an integral part of our group.
"He was one of those kids you love to coach — always a smile on his face and was excited to be part of our team. He was driven to succeed and was an exceptional athlete — a player who makes your whole team better in his presence.
He will be greatly missed by the coaches and the entire Oil Kings organization. To lose him at such a young age is difficult to process. My thoughts and prayers are with Caleb’s family, and the families of Ronin Sharma and Parker Magnuson, at this tragic time."
The team is offering support services and resources for their players during this time. Many of Reimer's teammates and the NHL took the time to post tributes on social.
The NHL sends its love and deepest condolences to the families of junior hockey players Caleb Reimer, Ronin Sharma and Parker Magnuson who tragically passed away in a car accident on Saturday.
Rest in peace boys.
— NHL (@NHL) August 22, 2021
You always had a smile on your face and played with so much passion. We are going to miss ya slimes. Fly high https://t.co/Pk3YaPtRRt
— Jake Neighbours (@jake_neighbours) August 21, 2021
There are not enough words in the world to describe how great of a person you were, you made everyone smile each and everyday. Love you always and forever brother, fly high Reimzy pic.twitter.com/BEymfLkh0D
— Jalen Luypen (@jalenluypen) August 22, 2021
Biggest smile I have ever seen after a first goal. Gonna miss you slimezy, fly high billet bro https://t.co/UCIEkmHP6D
— Ethan Peters (@EthanPeters06) August 21, 2021
At a loss of words today. The world lost a good one. One of the most kind and caring kids I’ve ever met, was like a brother to me. Going to miss you Reims, rest easy buddy https://t.co/4glUkJwMvI
— Carson Latimer (@carsonladi03) August 22, 2021
A great kid with a great heart A close friend of mine and to many others . The time you spent with us will never be forgotten and your positive attitude towards everything was a gift. Rest In Peace buddy https://t.co/R60Sdc3Sva
— Shea Van Olm (@SheaVanOlm) August 22, 2021
I still remember the first day I met Reims in Philadelphia like it was yesterday. As soon as we found out we both went to the @EdmOilKings, we connected together and built a friendship from then on that would be like no other. I am proud to call him my brother. Miss you already https://t.co/j0P2loEDC7
— kolby hay (@KolbyHay) August 22, 2021
RCMP officers say Reimer, 16, and the two other teenagers in the vehicle died after it crashed into a tree.
Police, along with Emergency Health Services and the Surrey Fire Service, responded to reports of a crash in the Fraser Heights neighbourhood at about 2:47 a.m. Mounties are asking anyone who may have been in the area or has dash-cam footage to contact them.
- With files from the Canadian Press.