A quartet of 20-year-olds in their final season of junior eligibility will form the Langley Rivermen’s leadership core.
Defenceman Jordan Schneider will serve as captain while fellow blue-liner Will Campion and forwards Matthew Graham and Ben Butcher will be the assistant captains.
“We felt that this was a solid group to lead our team made up of guys who know the league and can not only provide a good example for how to win but also help the new players transition into the league,” said Bobby Henderson, the team’s head coach and general manager.
He added that the players made the decision easy after a strong training camp and preseason.
Schneider is a towering defenseman (standing 6’5”) from Toronto who is committed to Clarkson for next season and will be counted on to provide a steady, physical presence on the back end.
Campion, from Seaford, New York, is poised for a break out season after posting 30 points in his rookie season.
Butcher is in his second stint with the team and is in his fourth season in the BCHL.
And Graham, from Bedford, Nova Scotia, had a strong preseason and will likely carry a big load offensively for the team this season after a strong rookie campaign.
The new captain was complimentary of the three assistants,
“They are all well respected leaders in the dressing room and have eased new players into our culture,” Schneider said.
“They are excellent role models and will help hold the group accountable throughout the season.”
Langley showed their talent with a win in their season opener against the Surrey Eagles. The Rivermen won the game 6-3 on Friday in Surrey,.
On Friday, Surrey came out of the gate flat, and trailed their Langley rivals 4-0 after 20 minutes of play, and though they outscored their opposition 3-2 over the final two frames, the first-period hole proved too big to climb out of.
In Friday’s game, Rivermen forward Ben Butcher — who played 11 games for the Eagles last season before being dealt to Langley — scored the first two goals of the game, and Justin Szeto and Matthew Graham also scored before the first intermission.
Neither team scored in the second period, and Surrey opened the third with two quick goals — Paul McAvoy scored on the power play just 35 seconds into the period, and Darren Hards scored his first BCHL goal.
Surrey’s third goal of the contest also came with the man-advantage, with Darius Davidson potting his first of the year.
Langley’s home opener is Sept. 19 versus the Prince George Spruce Kings. Puck drops at 6 p.m.
— Files from Black Press reporter Nick Greenizan