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Hockey News

Jets forward Blake Wheeler to serve as team captain

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 23:46:07 +0000

4E Sports Staff

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (NewsBahn) - The Winnipeg Jets have selected forward Blake Wheeler to serve as team captain it was announced Wednesday.

Wheeler will take over for Andrew Ladd, who was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks earlier in the year.

Wheeler had a terrific season in 2015-16, netting 26 goals and collecting 52 assists for 78 points while playing in all 82 games.

He also finished the campaign with a flourish, scoring 6 six goals in the last 5 games, tacking on 3 assists.

"For me, this is obviously a huge honor," Wheeler said according to nhl.com. "I got to learn a lot from Andrew Ladd the last five years in Winnipeg. To see what it looks like every day to be the leader of the team, especially in a market like Winnipeg, is a pretty special honor, an honor I know he took with a lot of pride and I look forward to carrying the torch for him."

"I really look forward to being the leader of this team," Wheeler said, mentioning center Mark Scheifele and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien , who will serve as alternate captains. "But it's not just going to be us three. We have a great group of men in our room, so this is going to be a joint obligation for everyone. Everyone is going to share in this responsibility."

Coach Paul Maurice is confident of Wheeler's leadership abilities.

"When we think about leaders and what we ask of them, at the very top of the list is we want them to lead by example," Maurice told the Jets website. "For Blake, in my time here but also over the course of his career, rarely do you run by a player who is able to play that hard, that consistently, every night. In order to do that, he practices like that. In terms of what we want our young players to, what do we want our fans to see, and how we want the players around Blake, where we want their eyes, is on his effort level, his compete, every shift, every game, every practice.

"We really think that he's unique in that. There's very few players that can drive themselves as hard as Blake can and we think he's a spectacular leader by example in our room."

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