Colton Kroeker named new captain of Kootenay Ice

Veteran forward given new jersey letter, replaces recently departed Cale Fleury as team leader

There’s a new captain in town.

In a special press conference held at Western Financial Place on Monday afternoon, Kootenay Ice head coach James Patrick announced that 20-year-old forward Colton Kroeker would serve as the team’s new leader.

A week after former captain Cale Fleury was traded to the Regina Pats in a blockbuster deal, the organization came to a consensus on Kroeker taking over the ‘C’.

“Cale was respected by his coaches and his teammates and [was] popular [because of] everything he had done for the franchise,” Patrick said. “Once he was gone, it was an easy choice for us because Colton, both on and off the ice, was a big support to Cale as far as a leadership group.

“[He was] one of the leaders in our veteran group [and] I think his experience in the league, how he plays, how he thinks a game and his compete-level made him a unanimous choice when we talked to the coaches and talked to the management staff.”

In addition to the local media, the announcement was attended by the Ice associate coach Jon Klemm, assistant coach Gordon Burnett, general manager Matt Cockell, alternate captains Brett Davis, Vince Loschiavo and Dallas Hines, and former Kootenay Ice captain Colin Sinclair.

“This is a storied franchise with great captains before us and now [Colton is a part of that],” said Sinclair, who wore the ‘C’ from 2002 to 2003. “We’re all excited to see where this team goes this year.”

Now the Ice’s director of alumni experience, Sinclair outlined what he believes makes a good captain.

“[It’s] just being a good teammate first and foremost, putting the team first,” he said. “[Then it’s] committing to the plan that your coach has in front of you and doing everything it takes to win.”

Kroeker echoed those sentiments while talking about what it means to him to be given his new role.

“We have such a good group in that locker room that it’s going to make my job a lot easier, I love playing with each and every one of them,” the new captains said. “I just want to keep winning.”

According to the 1997-born Surrey, B.C. native, he’s been waiting for the moment for a long time.

“Ever since I was young, I was dreaming about being a captain for a WHL team,” he said. “Honestly, it’s a high goal and I’m just thrilled to have it.”

Kroeker joined the Ice less than a year ago, coming over from the Lethbridge Hurricanes with Brett Davis in a trade for then-Kootenay Ice over-agers Zak Zborosky and Matt Alfaro.

Previously having been drafted by the Regina Pats in 2012 (seventh round, 134 overall) and played a season and a half there, Kroeker really came into his own after his arrival in Cranbrook.

Finishing last season with 32 points in 29 games, and having so far put up 19 points in 20 games in 2017-18, he has career totals of 204 games, 41 goals and 69 assists.

“I try to lead by example [and] speak my mind as much as possible, especially on the ice,” he said. “I try to lead the way and hopefully I can keep doing that.”

Kroeker will make his debut as the Kootenay Ice’s 22nd captain in franchise history on Tuesday, as the team hosts the Portland Winterhawks.

Kootenay Ice

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Letters to the Editor

Performing Arts Festival postponed; Wildfire protection; Understanding in the world today

Local photographer raises over $5,000 for Cranbrook Food Bank

Damien Vincent raised the money through his version of the Front Porch Family Photo project

PHOTOS: Momma black bear and cubs spotted in Townsite

A momma black bear and her two cubs, spotted getting near The… Continue reading

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

Home sales down, price correction coming: Realtor

There has been a 10 per cent drop in single family dwelling… Continue reading

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Most Read