It was a long time coming and it might have been one of the worst-kept secrets in Cranbrook.
But Wednesday afternoon, Kootenay Ice president and general manager Jeff Chynoweth officially announced 19-year-old centre Luke Philp as the 19th captain in franchise history.
“He’s been a leader since he joined our hockey club,” Chynoweth said Wednesday. “He’s always been in the shadows of Sam Reinhart and other players. If Sam Reinhart didn’t come back last year, Luke would’ve been the captain of our team.”
Philp, a native of Canmore, Alta., is in his fourth full season with the Ice, having skated in 235 career games and tallied 218 points to date.
This season, the 5-foot-10 pivot leads the club offensively with five goals and 13 points through 12 games.
“Luke, for us, is the ultimate leader on the ice and off the ice,” said goaltender Wyatt Hoflin earlier this season. “He’s the hardest-working guy. He’s the one that’s following the game plan to a tee, but at the same time, he’s creating scoring chances. Most games, he’s either our leader in scoring chances or close to. You can’t find a guy like that anywhere else in the league and we’re lucky enough to have him.”
In addition to the naming of Philp as captain, forwards Jaedon Descheneau and Zak Zborosky, along with defencemen Tanner Lishchynsky and Troy Murray were named alternate captains.
Philp succeeds Reinhart as the club captain after the franchise all-time leading scorer graduated to the professional ranks with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres this fall.
Kootenay Ice Captaincy History
John Kachur (1996-97); Steve McCarthy (1998-00); Mike Green (2000); Mike Comrie (2000); Dean Arsene (2000-01); Jason Jaffray (2001-02); Jarret Stoll (2001-02); Colin Sinclair (2002-03); Nigel Dawes (2003-05); Adam Cracknell (2005-06); Ryan Russell (2006-07); Steve DaSilva (2007-08); Andrew Bailey (2008-09); Dustin Sylvester (2009-10); Brayden McNabb (2010-11); Drew Czerwonka (2011-12); Joey Leach (2013); Sam Reinhart (2013-15)