Last night, at the Nanook hockey banquet, which I wasn't able to attend, unfortunately, head coach Dallas Ferguson made the announcement of naming Derek Klassen this season's team captain. Klassen sat behind last year senior Adam Naglich as the assistant captain. I could have predicted this one. Klassen is a stud on and off the ice, and was recognized last year as the Don Jamison Unsung Hero, a team award given for work ethic and dedication, for his efforts. This isn't the first time he has sported the prestigious 'C' on his jersey. Back in his junior days with the AJHL, he lead the Oil Barons in scoring with 25 goals and 33 assists in 58 games in his final season in Fort McMurray.
Kevin Petovello is quite a leader himself. He was named an assistant captain for the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) and had a career-best season in his final year, scoring 41 goals and 26 assists with 35 penalty minutes in 60 regular season games, resuling in being recognized as Victoria's Most Dedicated Player. Last year in CCHA play, Petovello notched 12 assists, second-most among all Nanook skaters, and finished the season with a total of 18 points, fourth in the teams totals.
Klassen seemingly did a great job in Naglich's shadow, achieving the aforementioned unsung hero award. I have a lot of hope for this season, I really do, and I'm glad to see that the leadership is in place to set up success. The definition of success, at least in this case, is to improve on what was accomplished last season. Which, to be honest, has a lot of room for improvement. Shooting for 2 goals per game, while keeping our defense to the same standard, I don't think is too much to envision. Last year, the Nanooks were among the BEST in defense, stouting the number one goalie in the nation, with one of the worst offenses, and one of the most pitiful power plays.
My hope is, I will catch a glimpse of what to expect at the Blue/Gold game in a few hours. My thoughts will flow through the Twitter feed as they happen. With a reloaded offense with the likes of Jarret Granberg and Andy Taranto, who posted great numbers last year in juniors, and still a solid defense who are building it with the skills of Justin Daigle, and Kaare Odegard, you heard it here, and I've said it before, this is going to be a great year for the Nanooks.
See you tonight at the Patty Center.