BURNABY, BC — SFU Hockey is proud to announce Notre Dame Hounds forward Sho Takai as the newest member of the 2020/21 recruiting class.
Hailing from Coquitlam, Takai returns home and brings with him experience at the KIJHL and SJHL level, as well as on the world stage, having played with Team Japan in international competition.
A 5’8” forward, he describes himself as a fast skater who’s not afraid to play physical.
In his first year of junior, after putting up 18 goals and 18 assists in the regular season, Takai went to the 2018 KIJHL finals with the Revelstoke Grizzlies.
In his most recent stop, he spent two seasons with the Notre Dame Hounds of the SJHL, putting up 22 goals and 57 points in 97 regular season games. He will also add some grit to the SFU lineup, having put up 299 PIM throughout his junior career.
“[He has] elite speed, plays at a high pace, an offensive mindset. He can kill penalties with his speed and his hockey sense. Just overall, a very fast, compact forward that plays on the edge,” said Hounds head coach and GM Phil Roy.
Born in Japan before moving to Canada at a young age, in December 2018, Takai played with Team Japan at the 2019 IIHF U20 World Championship Division I B in Tychy, Poland. Takai had a goal and an assist in the tournament.
“He’s a pretty dynamic skater, he’s got a nice shot, and he brings an element of physicality to his game,” said SFU head coach Mark Coletta. “We have a lot of skill, but having that physicality as part of our team identity would be big, and Sho, because he skates so well and he’s physical, can add that to our lineup.
“Plus I think he has a scoring ability that might not have been tapped into yet, and I think we can find that out of him as well.”
Takai said he wants to contribute to the team in any way he can, and his goal is to win a BCIHL Championship with SFU. He will be joining familiar company, having played the last two seasons with fellow SFU recruit, Joseph Santalucia.
Additional recruit announcements are to follow in the coming weeks.