Humboldt Broncos hockey player Evan Thomas remembered in Saskatoon

Thousands gather at SaskTel Centre to honour rookie player

A tearful and moving memorial service took place in Saskatoon Monday afternoon for Humboldt Broncos bus cras victim Evan Thomas, 18, at SaskTel Centre.

The tragic collision between the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) team’s bus and a semi-trailer north of Tisdale on April 6 took the lives of 16 people on their way to a playoff game. Thirteen others were injured; 10 remain in hospital.

READ MORE: Evan Thomas’ dad explains harrowing moments before he arrived on scene of Humboldt bus crash

Thomas, who was from Saskatoon, was playing his first season with the Broncos.

WATCH MORE: Memorial service honouring Humboldt Bronco Evan Thomas

While he loved the sport of hockey, he loved the people he played with even more.

“He liked the sports that he played but he loved his teammates. Just loved his teammates and he loved his teammates on that team. He really did,” Evan’s father, Scott Thomas, said.

“He had so many opportunities to come home this year. Superbowl: we asked him to come home because he didn’t practice the next day. ‘We’ll feed you up and you can go back the next day.’ ‘No dad, I’ll stay with my teammates.’ Easter: same thing. He just loved his teammates.”

Thomas previously played for the Saskatoon Blazers and Moose Jaw Generals in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.

NHL legend Gordie Howe is the only other person to have a memorial service held in their honour in the arena’s 30-year history.

Ron Maclean from Hockey Night in Canada appeared via video feed.

People could be seen pouring into the arena wearing hockey jerseys from a number of teams but they were all Bronco fans Monday as they honoured Thomas.

“I don’t really know if there’s positives you can take out of this, but if there is one at things that I tell people is that there is hope in our world that there is human kindness because all those people very well care of it all the social media,” family friend Cal Hobbs said.

“That was a person who was going to help the world and now other people are going to suffer because (Evan Thomas) won’t be there to help them … we’ll never forget but maybe we can just move forward – and be better people.”

“Make no mistake – his passing was tragic and unfair. Anyone who knew (Evan Thomas) will mourn his loss forever. (He) was a magical light – lighting our lives with his engaging smile and generous heart,” the memorial service’s program read.

“There is a dark spot in our souls that will never be bright again. Hopefully the beautiful memories of him will carry us through this darkness to a day that maybe we can smile again. We will miss him forever.”

Thomas leaves behind a 15-year-old sister. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations towards her education which can be made at any TD Bank branch.