Though their season recently ended, the Kootenay Ice are already looking forward and have named Sam Reinhart as the team captain for the next campaign.
Reinhart is picking up the captaincy mantle from Joey Leach, who is graduating out of the WHL and attempting to break into the pros with the Oklahoma City Barons.
Reinhart’s eldest brother Max, who spent his career with the Ice, wore an alternate in his final season, while Griffin, the middle sibling, is captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings.
“It’s a huge honour to be named captain of such a successful organization over the past decade,” said Reinhart. “We learned so much over the past year, so everyone’s coming in next year with a lot of experience, and my job shouldn’t be too difficult.
“…You just got to be comfortable in all situations. It’s not as much of talking in the room after every period to get everyone going—it’s just leading by example, on the ice especially, and staying composed.”
Reinhart, who doesn’t turn 18 years old until November, led the team in offensive production this past season, with 35 goals and 50 assists for 85 points.
However, leading a team as captain is more than just being a talented hockey player, according to Ice general manager Jeff Chynoweth.
“Leadership is important on any team and it comes from within,” said Chynoweth. “Sam has been the leader of his peer group on and off the ice since joining the club two years ago.
“Not only is he an elite player, but he has the respect of all his teammates and coaching staff with his work ethic and commitment to excellence.”